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Unbelievable drivers

By dazzab 4 July 2012 77

I doubt that bad driving in Canberra is news worthy but today I witnessed something that really made me wonder how people get their drivers licenses.

Middle of a lovely sunny day in very light traffic I’m heading East on Ginnenderra Drive and pull up to a red light at Kingsford Smith intersection. I notice an ambulance in the distance heading West on Ginnenderra with siren blaring and lights flashing. I think to myself how easy he will get through the interesection given how little traffic there is and I’m a bit suprised at how cautiously he approaches given how open the interesection is.

As I sit there and watch in disbelief, a car on Kingsford Smith makes a right turn across the path of the ambulance. They had been stopped waiting for the light to turn green and when it did they just made the turn as normal in spite of an ambulance just a few metres away with siren and lights on trying to cross the intersection. OK, benefit of doubt to the driver as maybe there was some reason they didn’t yield. Maybe they were busy texting or talking on the phone.

But then the car behind them continues through the light as well and then the third, fourth and fifth car as well! That’s right, five cars turned across the path of an ambulance attempting to cross the intersection as if it wasn’t even there.  The ambulance was forced to sit there and wait. Simply unbelievable.

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JC 9:25 am 07 Jul 12

Onceler said :

Today’s prize goes to the driver of a metallic light green Toyota Tarago, number plate beginning with YWH and ending with 000. Heading east on William Hovell Drive, then south on the Tuggeranong Parkway. The guy has skills, and was throwing that old bus around like a go-kart. Speeding, tailgating, crazy lane-changing to get past slower traffic. Made me think that a special “Tarago Cup” race series could rejuvenate Australian motor sport. (V8 supercars are a pretty boring, right?)

That wasn’t around 3-3:15 by any chance? The reason I ask is I had a similar experience with a green Tarago yesterday too. I was driving along Archdall Street in Macgregor doing the 50km/h limit when a green tarago started tailgating me and swaying left right I presume in an effort to make me speed up.

Then we both turned left onto Obsourn Drive, being a fast accelerator I got away from it until I hit the speed limit and stopped accelerating and sure enough the Tarago was back up my arse. Same thing when we turned onto Florey Drive. At the Florey Drive roadworks we got stopped for 5+ minutes and once on Southern Cross Drive and the start of the dual carriageway I tried to move to the left as early as I could but the goose was in such a hurry and tried to come up my inside (bear in mind due to the roadworks we were on the wrong side of the road and had to cut back to the correct side). Once past she (and yes it was she driving) disappeared into the distance, only for me to pass her at the Kingsford Smith traffic lights where she was waiting to turn right towards William Hovell.

milkman 8:59 am 07 Jul 12

dazzab said :

Onceler said :

Today’s prize goes to the driver of a metallic light green Toyota Tarago, number plate beginning with YWH and ending with 000. Heading east on William Hovell Drive, then south on the Tuggeranong Parkway. The guy has skills, and was throwing that old bus around like a go-kart. Speeding, tailgating, crazy lane-changing to get past slower traffic. Made me think that a special “Tarago Cup” race series could rejuvenate Australian motor sport. (V8 supercars are a pretty boring, right?)

I’d like to put forward another candidate after watching yet another driver failing to give way to TWO ambulances today. Hard to believe but true.

I was sitting at one of those temp lights that control traffic when half a road is closed so there’s only one lane that has to be shared by drivers heading in both directions. After a long wait sitting at the red light it turns green. But looking ahead I could see TWO ambulances enter from the other end even though they would have the red light. So I waited. But that’s not good enough for the driver behind me who pulls around me, gives me ‘the look’ and heads down the road only to come head to head with the two ambulances which he’s now blocking. Surprise!

I’ve seen something similar, and am regularly amazed at just how unobservant many drivers are.

Aeek 12:32 am 07 Jul 12

GBT said :

While I do think there are some people who are overly cautious and seem to be in a perpetually fearful state while behind the wheel of a car, they are just one subset of inconsiderate drivers and thankfully not the majority.

Exiting south from the Parkway onto Hindmarsh Drive, there’s the slip lane but also the left lane at the lights for turning left. The number of people who block the slip lane by giving way to cars turning left from the lights into the middle lane is … frustrating.

dazzab 9:46 pm 06 Jul 12

Onceler said :

Today’s prize goes to the driver of a metallic light green Toyota Tarago, number plate beginning with YWH and ending with 000. Heading east on William Hovell Drive, then south on the Tuggeranong Parkway. The guy has skills, and was throwing that old bus around like a go-kart. Speeding, tailgating, crazy lane-changing to get past slower traffic. Made me think that a special “Tarago Cup” race series could rejuvenate Australian motor sport. (V8 supercars are a pretty boring, right?)

I’d like to put forward another candidate after watching yet another driver failing to give way to TWO ambulances today. Hard to believe but true.

I was sitting at one of those temp lights that control traffic when half a road is closed so there’s only one lane that has to be shared by drivers heading in both directions. After a long wait sitting at the red light it turns green. But looking ahead I could see TWO ambulances enter from the other end even though they would have the red light. So I waited. But that’s not good enough for the driver behind me who pulls around me, gives me ‘the look’ and heads down the road only to come head to head with the two ambulances which he’s now blocking. Surprise!

Jethro 8:42 pm 06 Jul 12

Onceler said :

Today’s prize goes to the driver of a metallic light green Toyota Tarago, number plate beginning with YWH and ending with 000. Heading east on William Hovell Drive, then south on the Tuggeranong Parkway. The guy has skills, and was throwing that old bus around like a go-kart. Speeding, tailgating, crazy lane-changing to get past slower traffic. Made me think that a special “Tarago Cup” race series could rejuvenate Australian motor sport. (V8 supercars are a pretty boring, right?)

William Hovell is the perfect place for point-to-point cameras. As a road its not too flash hot (there is a huge stretch that is 90km/hr with no lane divider, no lighting, kangaroos that basically live on it) yet a huge portion of the people on it treat it like a race-track.

It also doesn’t suffer from the defects of the current p2p cameras and the suggested ones, in that between Drake Brockman Dr and Coppins Crossing Rd there are no turnoffs, roundabouts, lights, etc, so it would actually give a fair and true reading for every driver using that stretch.

Onceler 7:51 pm 06 Jul 12

Today’s prize goes to the driver of a metallic light green Toyota Tarago, number plate beginning with YWH and ending with 000. Heading east on William Hovell Drive, then south on the Tuggeranong Parkway. The guy has skills, and was throwing that old bus around like a go-kart. Speeding, tailgating, crazy lane-changing to get past slower traffic. Made me think that a special “Tarago Cup” race series could rejuvenate Australian motor sport. (V8 supercars are a pretty boring, right?)

Innovation 6:46 pm 06 Jul 12

GBT said :

Innovation said :

GBT said :

Innovation said :

Driving a little under the speed limit is not an offence. Driving slowly at construction sites is not an offence. I’m not sure what you mean by someone getting “confused by yellow lights” but is it perhaps because they stop when you don’t want them to? And a little more patience on your part might help you cope with those drivers you perceive to react too slowly or who are overly cautious for your liking.

Driving a little under is not an offence, no, but driving at a speed that obstructs other road users and impedes the flow of traffic is, which many people are guilty of.

I assume the yellow light comment was about panic breaking where you are behind someone and as soon as the light goes yellow they hit the brakes even though they have plenty of time to go through and are quite close to the lights.

For the record I was previously responding to A_Cog’s comments at #6 but stuffed up the quotes.

….

It is interesting that A_Cog did not list speeding, red light running and not indicating (early enough and long enough) as an irritant although they did at least list tailgating. I suspect you both need to take a chill pill and start thinking about others on the road before yourselves.

Innovation, I suggest you re-read my comments. I stated some people were guilty of panic braking which in no way implies most people. As for the other comments I was just clarifying what I was assuming A Cog meant by his comments so your most of your comments directed at me were a waste of your time.

While I do think there are some people who are overly cautious and seem to be in a perpetually fearful state while behind the wheel of a car, they are just one subset of inconsiderate drivers and thankfully not the majority. And while I see a lot of instances of bad driving and have been known, on occasion, to be guilty of, I try not to get too worked up about it

I re read your post. I can’t see where you attribute any measure to the number who “panic brake” but why would you bother posting that point unless you were supporting A_Cog’s opinion? And you did type that “many” people are guilty of driving at a speed that obstructs other road users and impedes the flow of traffic. My opinion still stands but nice try.

GBT 3:06 pm 06 Jul 12

Innovation said :

GBT said :

Innovation said :

Driving a little under the speed limit is not an offence. Driving slowly at construction sites is not an offence. I’m not sure what you mean by someone getting “confused by yellow lights” but is it perhaps because they stop when you don’t want them to? And a little more patience on your part might help you cope with those drivers you perceive to react too slowly or who are overly cautious for your liking.

Driving a little under is not an offence, no, but driving at a speed that obstructs other road users and impedes the flow of traffic is, which many people are guilty of.

I assume the yellow light comment was about panic breaking where you are behind someone and as soon as the light goes yellow they hit the brakes even though they have plenty of time to go through and are quite close to the lights.

For the record I was previously responding to A_Cog’s comments at #6 but stuffed up the quotes.

….

It is interesting that A_Cog did not list speeding, red light running and not indicating (early enough and long enough) as an irritant although they did at least list tailgating. I suspect you both need to take a chill pill and start thinking about others on the road before yourselves.

Innovation, I suggest you re-read my comments. I stated some people were guilty of panic braking which in no way implies most people. As for the other comments I was just clarifying what I was assuming A Cog meant by his comments so your most of your comments directed at me were a waste of your time.

While I do think there are some people who are overly cautious and seem to be in a perpetually fearful state while behind the wheel of a car, they are just one subset of inconsiderate drivers and thankfully not the majority. And while I see a lot of instances of bad driving and have been known, on occasion, to be guilty of, I try not to get too worked up about it

astrojax 1:20 pm 06 Jul 12

parle said :

A_Cog said :


They slow down at construction sites even when the construction has finished and the workers have gone home…

er no, you don’t exceed the speed on the signs, even when the ‘workers have gone home’.

While a road is under repair it can no longer handle traffic safely at its normal speed so the limit applies full time, please don’t tailgate someone in a roadworks zone to ‘educate’ them otherwise!

thanks parle. yes!

and another +1 to jethro – i had a good friend who learned to ride a motorcycle while living in sydney, then later got a car pilotage licence in canberra. a much safer, more attentive bike rider than car driver. i don’t feel near as safe as passenger in the car as i do pillion on the bike. mad, but i put it down to the wide open paddocks we call ‘roads’ hereabouts…

Nylex 1:02 pm 06 Jul 12

Do they wonder why pointing RPGs at US military vehicles is such a popular pastime in Iraq?

Loxmyf 9:00 am 06 Jul 12

EvanJames said :

A bunch of us watched in disbelief a few weeks back, when the army or police blew something up along Majura Road. Quite a number of assorted emergency vehicles were rushing to get to the explosion, and the number of cars that did the correct thing were few and very far between. We witnessed cops in particular pulling some pretty dangerous manouvres in frustration we assumed. Drivers just seemed to have NO concept of pulling over to the left and stopping.

Just another example though, that if something’s not enforced, scumbags will do what they can get away with.

Maybe the following Youtube clip should be made part of ACT’s emergency services training…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1smaQgXcxM

Innovation 8:36 am 06 Jul 12

GBT said :

Innovation said :

Driving a little under the speed limit is not an offence. Driving slowly at construction sites is not an offence. I’m not sure what you mean by someone getting “confused by yellow lights” but is it perhaps because they stop when you don’t want them to? And a little more patience on your part might help you cope with those drivers you perceive to react too slowly or who are overly cautious for your liking.

Driving a little under is not an offence, no, but driving at a speed that obstructs other road users and impedes the flow of traffic is, which many people are guilty of.

I assume the yellow light comment was about panic breaking where you are behind someone and as soon as the light goes yellow they hit the brakes even though they have plenty of time to go through and are quite close to the lights.

For the record I was previously responding to A_Cog’s comments at #6 but stuffed up the quotes.

As for GBT’s comments, I don’t agree that most people “unreasonably obstruct the path of another driver or pedestrian”. The road rules do provide an example of someone doing 60 in an 80 zone when there is no reasonable excuse. Ignoring the everlasting debate about the true speed of these “slow” drivers (eg “…my speedo or GPS is more accurate than yours”), I doubt someone doing 60 in the left hand lane would usually be considered to be obstructing traffic. And even though it is subjective as to what would be a reasonable excuse for driving slowly perhaps you should take a breath and try to work out why they are driving slowly. I think you will find that many more people are guilty of speeding than driving too slowly. To use A_Cog’s example, I often find that I do 50 in a 60 zone as I don’t believe that it is possible or safe to do 60 – such as around shops, in high volume traffic areas or where there are parked cars or pedestrians nearby. It’s pretty rare that I would do 60 in an 80 zone but you can be sure that I would have a good reason for doing so.

As for the yellow lights argument, if the light is yellow and the driver can stop safely at the lights, stop line or otherwise before entering the intersection then they are supposed to do so. I have never experienced someone stop too suddenly in front of me and I suggest that you are driving too close to the cars in front of you (that doesn’t excuse the driver stopping in front of you when, because of your tailgating, it is not safe to do so, but I suspect that if you rear end them it would be deemed your fault).

Previously I chose to ignore A_Cog’s comment about drivers who “sit in the inside lane and don’t move to the outside lane” as I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they were referring to roads with speeds over 80km/h. I admit this sometimes irritates me, but not as often as I suspect A_Cog is irritated, and there are plenty of subjective reasons why this might be allowed also (eg the driver is overtaking, the traffic in each other lane is congested or the traffic in every lane is congested).

It is interesting that A_Cog did not list speeding, red light running and not indicating (early enough and long enough) as an irritant although they did at least list tailgating. I suspect you both need to take a chill pill and start thinking about others on the road before yourselves.

Mav 8:28 am 06 Jul 12

Well I think after my experience this morning with a person acting completely insane in their car, tailgating, overtaking on double unbroken centre lines, and trying to ram the side of my car, I will be looking at installing a GoPro camera in my car so that I can hand the footage over to the police in future.

Jethro 7:24 am 06 Jul 12

Rawhide Kid Part3 said :

Jethro said :

parle said :

A_Cog said :


They slow down at construction sites even when the construction has finished and the workers have gone home…

er no, you don’t exceed the speed on the signs, even when the ‘workers have gone home’.

While a road is under repair it can no longer handle traffic safely at its normal speed so the limit applies full time, please don’t tailgate someone in a roadworks zone to ‘educate’ them otherwise!

It’s funny (or scary.. I’m not sure which)… At most roadworks they leave the reduced speed limit signs up 24 hours a day for this very reason.

Yet on Southern Cross Drive at the Florey Drive intersection where the current roadworks are they cover the reduced speed limit signs up every day and put the place back to regular speed limits.

This despite the fact there was a fatality at these roadworks a few weeks back. Furthermore, the changed road conditions (closed slip lane, reduced visibility caused by roadworks barriers) remain after the workers have gone home. It is a dangerous intersection at the best of times and the presence of closed lanes and sight-obstructing barriers makes it even more so.

If there was ever a roadworks area that needed the reduced speed limit to remain even after the workers have gone home, it’s this one.

Yet other roadworks which don’t seem to have the same hazards in place keep their reduced speed limits 24 hours a day. (I’m thinking places like Parkes Way/William Hovell outbound at the Glenloch Interchange when there were roadworks on the off-ramp to the GDE but not on the main stretch, but the main stretch had reduced speeds 24/7).

It’s almost like there isn’t a proper policy regarding roadworks speed limits.

You don’t have to wait for the reduced speed signs to be displayed before you slow down. If it looks dangerous SLOW DOWN !!

Yeah. I do.

But driving at 40 in a zone marked 60 in Canberra is an invitation to be tailgated by some bogan in a Commodore flashing their lights and abusing the crap out of you.

Aeek 11:12 pm 05 Jul 12

I enjoyed driving in Sydney. Indicate and you are given space for about 3 seconds to move.
Adelaide, it feels like many drivers are on valium. They would not mix well.
What they have in common is disappearing lanes on major roads.
In Sydney, its lane markings. In Adelaide, its the original planned roads that now, the left lane is blocked with cars at the local shop or the right lane is blocked by a car waiting to turn into the side street. Look ahead, anticipate and above all be patient if you get caught out.
In both cities, drivers cooperate but in very different ways.

Canberra, so many people learnt to drive in different cities with different driving cultures that clash.
Personally, I learnt my road rules in Adelaide but got my licence here. Never had a problem driving at 100 in a 100 zone, possibly because after years of cycling, 100 in a car never seemed that fast.

PrinceOfAles 10:49 pm 05 Jul 12

Slumlord said :

Notice all the incidents posted here are on the northside. Nuf said.

Yes those southsiders tend to get a bit confused when they drive over to the north. Probably can`t see out their frosty windscreens.

JC 9:27 pm 05 Jul 12

Rawhide Kid Part3 said :

You don’t have to wait for the reduced speed signs to be displayed before you slow down. If it looks dangerous SLOW DOWN !!

Whilst this is of course true and something I myself exercise when using this intersection, it doesn’t help that you are trying to navigate this reduced visibility intersection (which I notice tonight is now partially in darkness due to the lights on Florey Drive not working) with other vehicles zooming past oblivious to any danger.

But guess it’s all academic anyway because even if the limit was reduced 90% of the people wouldn’t take any notice anyway. Bet however if one fell into the hole now made by the removal of an island, which is near on impossible to see due to the lack of lights they would be the first to whinge.

Deckard 8:35 pm 05 Jul 12

Jethro said :

It’s funny (or scary.. I’m not sure which)… At most roadworks they leave the reduced speed limit signs up 24 hours a day for this very reason.

Yet on Southern Cross Drive at the Florey Drive intersection where the current roadworks are they cover the reduced speed limit signs up every day and put the place back to regular speed limits.

This despite the fact there was a fatality at these roadworks a few weeks back. Furthermore, the changed road conditions (closed slip lane, reduced visibility caused by roadworks barriers) remain after the workers have gone home. It is a dangerous intersection at the best of times and the presence of closed lanes and sight-obstructing barriers makes it even more so.

If there was ever a roadworks area that needed the reduced speed limit to remain even after the workers have gone home, it’s this one.

Yet other roadworks which don’t seem to have the same hazards in place keep their reduced speed limits 24 hours a day. (I’m thinking places like Parkes Way/William Hovell outbound at the Glenloch Interchange when there were roadworks on the off-ramp to the GDE but not on the main stretch, but the main stretch had reduced speeds 24/7).

It’s almost like there isn’t a proper policy regarding roadworks speed limits.

It’s astonishing that they put this intersection back to 60 after hours.

As you’ve said, after the over cautious approach of glenloch interchange it’s crazy they now decide to raise the limit in one of the most dangerous intersections in Canberra.

Someone’s already dead, although not sure if the roadworks were a factor. If they were, or if there’s another serious accident then someone’s going to have blood on their hands…

Sure people can slow down even though the signs tell them they don’t have to, and a lot of people do. But there are also a lot of people out there who think a 60 zone means you can do 70.

As for the whole Canberra drivers thing, I reckon Canberra drivers have a much higher rate of confirmation bias than anywhere else.

Tooks 7:39 pm 05 Jul 12

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Tooks said :

It’s probably based on the fact that we see this kind of behaviour every day around Canberra, and yet sometimes don’t see marked police for weeks at a time.

Depends how often and where you drive I suppose. I think most people grossly overestimate how many police cars are on patrol at any one time though.

If people are committing these offences (red light running, illegal u-turns, parking offences etc) in front of police cars, then I think that’s pretty poor. But if he’s complaining about non-existant police not enforcing road rules, perhaps that’s not fair.

I think it would entirely fair to say that the number of police patrols relates directly to the priorities and resourcing of those who run the show.

Personally, bad driving doesn’t bother me that much. I tend just to have some music going and do my own thing anyway. If people want to do something crazy, I just get out of their way and let them go.

That said, I think having a greater marked police presence would probably settle a lot of people down. But until the government is ready to pay for it and support it it isn’t going to happen.

Agree with you on all of that. Most bad driving doesn’t particularly bother me. Expect the worst of most drivers and you won’t be surprised (you’ll also have better situational awareness and be better prepared for when they cut in front of you/tailgate/run red lights etc).

While the police meet the KPIs (or most of them) set by the government, then that govt is not going to spend money on drastically increasing police numbers.

AussieRodney 6:18 pm 05 Jul 12

Jethro said :

I really do think Canberra drivers are worse than those in other Aussie cities.

My purely anecdotal evidence, from experience of driving for years at a time in other cities is:

Adelaide: For the most part, courtesy rules, or at least it did about 30 years ago.

Melbourne: A little too unpredictable. Some good, some bad, can’t trust ’em.

Sydney: With all their curvy roads, they’ve got be be on the ball. They do tend to drive defensively. Put a blinker on, move, because a gap will be there. If you see a blinker come on, make a gap!

Canberra: Arrogant. Put a blinker on, the idiot in the other lane WILL try to push you out!

AND Canberrans always drive faster in the rain. Is it because they think that they can get home without getting quite as wet?

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