Welcome to Canberra, the nanny city!

youami 5 November 2010 37

Ok so I have posted a similar rant before (refer here) but I have to have another go at the ridiculous so-called “standards” that TAMS in ACT claim they use to install traffic lights with filter turns. 

Yes, I am talking about those damn red arrows, forcing unnecessary delays to roads that barely warrant traffic lights in the first place.  It seriously has nothing to do with safety for the most part.

The claim is they install the lights according to Australian standards.  Not so sure that is truly right so if anyone has any evidence I would be interested.  Nowhere else in Australia is there a standard in place to install filter turns at every intersection.  TAMS claim it is because our roads are wide, our speed limits are 80km/h –or maybe it is because TAMS thinks that we as drivers are stupid and can’t think for ourselves. 

I have also been told by a former police officer that yet another reason going around to stop turning right on green is due to the ability that ACT drivers can make U-Turns at traffic lights where signs permit.

So then, why has there been new traffic lights installed at Norse Rd with a filter turn?  The road is single lane 60km/h no median strip, with probably less than 10,000 cars per day.  The heavy vehicle alternative route around Queanbeyan is less than 100 metres up the road on a corner with limited visibility, but with no lights – my opinion a much more dangerous intersection.  TAMS logic just drives me crazy!  Of course the claim by al that it is safer, yes it sure is, but lets be consistent here for all intersections: no other state or territory has the same level of restrictions and they offer flexibility to cater for intersections based on level of traffic –Canberra doesn’t.  Even in Queanbeyan they turn the arrows off after 8pm (eg. Canberra Av and Ross Rd).  If one could count the time over a month that vehicles have had to unecessarily stop to wait for a green arrow or conversely wait for vehicles to cross in front of them, I bet that would equate to several tonnes of CO2 and $$$ in additional freight times and lost earnings, vehicle wear and tear, plus the frustration and stress on drivers.  I accept some intersections require greater control but for a city like Canberra with a population of just a measily 300-odd thousand we are treated with kid gloves living in standards that are designed for cities with millions of vehicles –so patronising, maybe the small city syndrome– I know how to turn right with care!  By contrast, I was in the US in September and every traffic light in the country by default allows you to turn right on red (equivalent to our turn left on red) unless a sign say not to.  20 million cars in California alone and they have less rules than Canberra!

Ok… so do I need a new hobby or am I justified in this rant?  If we want ACT to be a leader in the environment and Canberra a sustainable city and be the leader in innovation, intelligence, responsibility, and encourage people to live here then we need to make the city more dynamic.  At the moment we are being hand fed our lives drives in a way that leaves us complacent should we ever leave the ACT!

I want to know the real logic behind these ridiculous decisions and if others are as frustrated as I am.


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37 Responses to Welcome to Canberra, the nanny city!
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CraigT CraigT 7:59 am 11 Nov 10

Judging by the nasty accident at the intersection of Jerrabomberra Ave and Hindmarsh Drive yesterday afternoon, Canberrans need more nannying, not less.

roflmao roflmao 9:24 pm 10 Nov 10

I understand the problems with red light arrows at intersections which are single lane; it just slows traffic and frustrates people. Though on busy high speed intersections i would hope young teens wouldn’t be meeting there maker too soon because there frontal lobe isn’t fully developed yet. My point is they have their place, but they are over used in Canberra, like you say they are unnecessary.

youami youami 1:07 pm 08 Nov 10

Oops lots of spelling mistakes… my bad.

youami youami 1:06 pm 08 Nov 10

So to furher my case that TAMS are crazy is I was driving along Pennant Hills Rd on the weekend – National Highway, 6 lanes divided road, median strip, turning lanes, and lots and lots of traffic, many large f***off B-doubles, yet abour 50% of the signalised intersections allow vehicle to turn right without an arrow! Granted speed limit is 70km/h but the point is that a major road with probably more traffic on a Saturday than Northbourne in the middle of weekday peak allows vehicles to turn right.

Post #8 re: 80km/h, I am sure you can be killed in a headon at 60km/h too but there are many many intersections in ACT that join with 80km/h roads with no lights, so the argument is moot. And my example is of a red arrow installed on a Norse Rd that is 60km/h with no median. Also look at Cohen St intersections at Belco, 60km/h no median.

Oh and I do have a life (I like to think), my 600-odd word rant is only one of three that I have posted here albeit two are of same topic lol, yes I have written a few comments here and there on other posts and perve at articles from time to time but I dont think I have overwhelmed the site…

Oh and yes I am with you george on Reverse Day

astrojax astrojax 12:31 pm 08 Nov 10

georgesgenitals said :

December 3 – International Drive in Reverse Day.

Now, who’s with me?

uoy htiw m’i 😉

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 11:58 am 08 Nov 10

December 3 – International Drive in Reverse Day.

Now, who’s with me?

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 10:50 am 08 Nov 10

If you:

– can’t tell the difference between dropping in here once in a while to leave a few sentences and coming here more than once to write multiple essays on the same subject
– think it takes all my spare time to write thirty second comments like this one
– can’t grasp the irony of your own comments

well, you have my pity, and my disappointment that our special education system seems to have let you down.

arescarti42 arescarti42 10:24 am 07 Nov 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

But then I have a life.

Spending all your spare time rebuffing 600 word rants on the Riot Act does not count as a life.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 8:53 am 07 Nov 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Is there nothing you don’t like about the way traffic is regulated in the ACT, or has it reached a state of perfection?

It’s fine. I’ve been here for fifteen years and never once had the urge to jump on some website and post multiple 600 word rants about turning arrows.

But then I have a life.

But you reply to them. Must be some life.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 7:24 pm 06 Nov 10

Is there nothing you don’t like about the way traffic is regulated in the ACT, or has it reached a state of perfection?

It’s fine. I’ve been here for fifteen years and never once had the urge to jump on some website and post multiple 600 word rants about turning arrows.

But then I have a life.

JC JC 6:06 pm 06 Nov 10

Me no fry said :

Two issues, I think: 1) removing from the driver the ability to judge for themselves when it is safe to turn, and 2) the possible need for lights to be more responsive to traffic (ie if you’re the only car at an intersection controlled by traffic lights at 2 am, why shouldn’t the light turn green for you immediately).

Surely both issues can be discussed?

Define immediately? Reason being at 2am if your the only car around the lights do change about as fast as they can, which is about 6 seconds, 3 for amber, 3 for red on other phases then green for you. Couldn’t do it any faster.

Deref Deref 4:14 pm 06 Nov 10

Pork Hunt said :

In many countries overseas, traffic lights flash amber in times of negligible traffic. This tells drivers to be alert, not alarmed and treat the intersection as if it had no lights, i.e. give way to the right.

I’m with Pork. They do it in Adelaide too, or they used to. Turn the lights on at peak hours and flashing amber the rest of the time. The fuel saving alone would have to be worth a few thousand cars. Where are the Greens?

trevar trevar 3:43 pm 06 Nov 10

housebound said :

You’re all looking at this the wrong way.

In these hectic times, the ACT Government has implemented a means of making us take those little breaks we all need.

LOL That’s true, but can you imagine what Australia’s GDP would be like if only those bloody Sydneysiders and Melbournians would get off their arses and go do some work instead of sitting in traffic jams all day?

Mr Evil Mr Evil 2:07 pm 06 Nov 10

troll-sniffer said :

In most countries turn on red is the norm, they only signpost it when you can’t. Most countries assume their drivers have passed their eighth birthday and can make some decisions for themselves.

Pity then that so many drivers in the ACT act as if they’re only 7.

I blame cyclists – it’s obviously their fault!

housebound housebound 1:02 pm 06 Nov 10

You’re all looking at this the wrong way.

In these hectic times, the ACT Government has implemented a means of making us take those little breaks we all need.

Think of it as slow travel.

We can sit and contemplate for a whole three or more minutes while we wait for that red traffic light to turn green, and we don’t even need to be nicotene addicts to gain social acceptance for the practice.

The ACT Government should be congratulated and encouraged to put more badly programmed lights in. The cost is easily covered by putting speed cameras down the road for anyone who feels they need to catch up to where they would have been if only the light were green.

Me no fry Me no fry 10:16 am 06 Nov 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Is this Whiny Exaggerating Little Pussies Who Like To Cry About Everything And Are Driven To Murderous Rage By Traffic Lights And If I Kill Somebody It’ll Be All Your Fault Anonymous?

Great! What’d I miss? You just started? Awesome. What’s first on the agenda?

WELPWLTCAEAADTMRBTLAIIKSIBAYFA 101 – Why We Have So Many Traffic Controls: Because You’re An Aggressive Wanker Who Drives Like An Idiot And You’re Proud Of It

Is there nothing you don’t like about the way traffic is regulated in the ACT, or has it reached a state of perfection?

Two issues, I think: 1) removing from the driver the ability to judge for themselves when it is safe to turn, and 2) the possible need for lights to be more responsive to traffic (ie if you’re the only car at an intersection controlled by traffic lights at 2 am, why shouldn’t the light turn green for you immediately).

Surely both issues can be discussed?

harley harley 9:19 am 06 Nov 10

My mate has a theory that Canberra traffic lights work on the loneliness principle.

They hold you up until someone else comes along to keep them company.

He is right, and you know it.

Tooks Tooks 9:16 am 06 Nov 10

Jethro said :

…The only reason I can think of them existing is that the government, like me, is fully aware of the general incompetence of ACT drivers, and has this has an extra safeguard against their generally negligent and incapable driving.

I’d say that’s pretty spot on.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 8:55 am 06 Nov 10

Is this Whiny Exaggerating Little Pussies Who Like To Cry About Everything And Are Driven To Murderous Rage By Traffic Lights And If I Kill Somebody It’ll Be All Your Fault Anonymous?

Great! What’d I miss? You just started? Awesome. What’s first on the agenda?

WELPWLTCAEAADTMRBTLAIIKSIBAYFA 101 – Why We Have So Many Traffic Controls: Because You’re An Aggressive Wanker Who Drives Like An Idiot And You’re Proud Of It

KB1971 KB1971 8:17 am 06 Nov 10

So, is that all you have to winge about driving around Canberra?

I recently spent 3 hours getting from Darling Harbour to Pheasants nest & paid $3.80 for the priveledge of using a “freeway”.

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