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The Canberra Pause

By Pommy bastard - 15 May 2011 34

Am I alone in noticing this? ( Her indoors  says; “Yes”)

 Ok, you are stopped at a red light somewhere in sunny ‘Berra. There is one car in front of you. You wait patiently for the lights to change, after several centuries the light goes green. The car in front moves forward an inch, stops, ……p-a-u-s-e-s……. then moves off.

It seems to be “de rigueur”, following the care free urge to proceed on green, to check  that;  “That  light actually is green, it’s the one me  for and my lane, and that yes it’s the one on the bottom, and it’s green,  yep definitely green,” before pulling off. The number of times I’ve almost rear ended someone who was doing this pause, I would not care to count.

It can be spotted, though not as easily, if you are two cars back from the lights. Watch for it.

(Now that I’ve mentioned it of course, you will see it every time you stop at the lights, you may even find yourself doing it.)

Is it a mark of the overly cautious nature of Canberra drivers mayhap?

 In the UK the shortest period of time which can be measured, is the time between the light going green and the car behind you barping his horn.

[Ed – known as the New York Second too]

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
The Canberra Pause
Kerryhemsley 6:25 pm 15 May 11

Yeah Canberra drivers are painfully cautious. Probably reflects the type of work a lot of people in this city do.

buzz819 6:21 pm 15 May 11

It is the same reason that drivers come to a stop at roundabouts for now reason.

KB1971 6:19 pm 15 May 11

A hangover from the days of when a young, fine, upstanding citizen by the name of Justin used to wander the burbs of our fair city…….

Thoroughly Smashed 5:47 pm 15 May 11

If you continually find yourself almost rear-ending cars when mere seconds ago you and everyone else around you were stationary, perhaps you need to modify your own behaviour?

I-filed 5:30 pm 15 May 11

I don’t understand why more traffic lights don’t go on “amber flash” before they go green -particularly at pedestrian crossings. That way, if an infuriating pedestrian has skipped across the road long before your light went red, you can judge when during the amber flashing to take off.

thatsnotme 5:22 pm 15 May 11

+1 to all the responses suggesting that it’s to avoid being cleaned up by red light runners. On numerous occassions, I’ve seen red light runners mid intersection, when the lights have been green for other traffic for a number of seconds. To do that, these drivers haven’t just run the orange – their lights have been red well before they enter the intersection, and they decide to go anyway.

I think it’s about survival instincts, more than being overly cautious.

Pommy bastard 4:53 pm 15 May 11

Thanks for the responses, I thought I may be alone in this one!

Mr Waffle 4:18 pm 15 May 11

I’d say it’s the time between drivers with automatics taking their foot off the brake and starting to accelerate, which can be influenced by the driver in front being slower to react.

alaninoz 3:59 pm 15 May 11

Last moment check for the idiot about to drive through the red light?

BenMac 3:48 pm 15 May 11

Maybe those people who use their handbrake while stopped at light. They’re trying to take off with the handbrake on, the car tries to move, doesn’t, pause, handbrake off and away they go.

Special G 3:23 pm 15 May 11

That pause is to hit send on the text message you were banging out whilst waiting at the red light.

The Frots 2:54 pm 15 May 11

I’ve noticed it – more so because the lights in Canberra do in fact take centuries to change to green. It’s fairly frustrating. Suspect that motorist with manual vehicles have had their foot on the clutch for so long their leg has gone to sleep!

keepitup 2:42 pm 15 May 11

Perhaps it’s because the thinking Canberra driver knows that although the cross lights have turned red, there’s still a very good chance that a white Commodore will pass across your bow at a great rate of knots.

cross 2:40 pm 15 May 11

Two incidents in recent months on Drakeford drive where going on green would have been certain death by a truck and a 4WD either not paying paying attention or deliberately running the red light,so yes I’m a little gun shy these days about rushing off on the green.

Morgan 1:35 pm 15 May 11

Sure its not a mistimed friction point/acceleration combined with low torque at low revs?

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