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What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on Canberra’s roads?

By Jane Speechley - 1 October 2017 14

Alpaca Pet Therapy

Alpaca image from the Alpaca Pet Therapy Facebook page.

Earlier this month, I was amused to read the story of a man caught driving in Toowoomba with no front seats.

Yes, you read that right. The car was missing both front seats.

Instead, the driver – who later admitted he was disqualified from driving as well – and his brave passenger were perched on rolled-up foam mattresses.

Surely you could at least drop in a stroller, like that clever Bush Mechanics mob?

Once I got over my surprise that this seatless expedition broke only two laws (I guess the need for common-sense isn’t legislated yet …), it got me wondering: what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on the road?

For example, there used to be regular sightings throughout Canberra of a small car travelling with an alpaca in the back.

As it turns out, this was Honeycomb the pet therapy alpaca, visiting hospitals and palliative care centres to brighten up the day of those who were sick and dying.

Sadly, dear old Honeycomb passed away in 2016. His duties have now been taken up by friends Hercules and Forrest Gump, but they now travel in the relative space and comfort of a van, so might not be as easy to spot.

Still in the animal world, and friends visiting from Sydney recently found it quite odd that we’re so used to pausing our journey to let a kangaroo, possum, wombat, or family of ducks cross the road.

My regular drive home to Googong, carefully dodging kangaroos along the way, had them white-knuckled … Or maybe that was just my driving …

Anyway, that leads me nicely to one of the strangest things I’ve seen on the road. And it was entirely of my own doing.

Some time back, I was driving along Parkes Way with a friend, just after dusk.

As we approached the city, a pair of ducks were trying to make the treacherous journey across the road from the lake, to the safety of the pond in the middle of the Coranderrk Street roundabout.

An animal lover through and through, I couldn’t stand by and wait for the inevitable.

So, after pulling over safely to the side of the road, I jumped out to herd the ducks quickly and efficiently to their destination.

Ha ha, just kidding – that wouldn’t make for a very good story. Plus I’m not silly, so of course, I made my friend jump out to perform the crucial role of Emergency Duck Shepherd.

While (albeit reluctantly) brimming with good intentions, my friend made the understandable error of attempting to gently shoo the ducks in the direction they did not want to go – back towards the lake.

Did you know that, when threatened and driven to protect their mate, male ducks can be surprisingly aggressive and quick on their feet?

I’ve often wondered what other drivers thought of the sight of my 30ish-year-old male friend jumping and sprinting down the side of Parkes Way in the semi-darkness, yelling at the large, angry and very loud male duck in close pursuit.

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard. I couldn’t drive for about ten minutes.

Now, some people might say the strangest thing you’ll see on a Canberra road is someone moving out of the right lane or merging correctly.

But I want to hear your really strange and funny stories – what’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen while driving around Canberra?

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on Canberra’s roads?
dungfungus 8:27 am 05 Oct 17

Brian Power said :

A 4WD with a bank of bright white LCD lamps on rear of vehicle blinding my vision. But hey the Police think that it is OK. Carry on the good work keeping us all safe not.

I believe the device you refer to is a LED light bar which are usually fitted to the front of a vehicle but they are also suitable for reversing aids, especially for 4WDs in the bush. They should have an isolating switch and the driver appears to have left it on by mistake. You should have followed him (at a distance) and told him about it when he stopped.

Brian Power 10:59 am 04 Oct 17

A 4WD with a bank of bright white LCD lamps on rear of vehicle blinding my vision. But hey the Police think that it is OK. Carry on the good work keeping us all safe not.

bryansworld 5:53 am 04 Oct 17

Maya123 said :

bigred said :

The strangest thing I see is all the vacant kerbside parking while all the cars are parked on verges, parkland and nature strips. Please explain it to me.

Maybe they think it’s safer there for the car. Less likely to be hit by passing cars. Guessing.

How likely is that? Not very. Not worth trashing Canberra’s grass. There’s enough space handed over to cars in this city without them taking even more.

Blen_Carmichael 11:19 am 03 Oct 17

Travelling on Capital Circle, Woden-bound, around 9pm one night, I’d just come on to Adelaide Avenue when I saw the lights of a sedan coming towards me. I had to look twice. It was a car travelling the wrong way in the bus lane past the Lodge. To his/her credit the motorist was adhering to the 80 kilometre speed limit.

bj_ACT 10:32 am 03 Oct 17

I am sure many won’t believe this…… but I once saw a P plater doing the actual posted speed limit (not 20km too fast or 20km too slow) and an ACTION Bus driver using their indicator correctly.

bigred 10:22 am 03 Oct 17

bryansworld said :

bigred said :

The strangest thing I see is all the vacant kerbside parking while all the cars are parked on verges, parkland and nature strips. Please explain it to me.

Me too. I don’t get this urge to park on grass instead of on the road. It’s turning Canberra into an ugly dust bowl.

Also, you may not be aware that Parking Inspectors will tell you a car parked in a public park is not in their jurisdiction and the Urban Rangers have no authority to enforce the parking rules. Go figure!

bryansworld 4:46 am 03 Oct 17

bigred said :

The strangest thing I see is all the vacant kerbside parking while all the cars are parked on verges, parkland and nature strips. Please explain it to me.

Me too. I don’t get this urge to park on grass instead of on the road. It’s turning Canberra into an ugly dust bowl.

Maya123 10:23 pm 02 Oct 17

bigred said :

The strangest thing I see is all the vacant kerbside parking while all the cars are parked on verges, parkland and nature strips. Please explain it to me.

Maybe they think it’s safer there for the car. Less likely to be hit by passing cars. Guessing.

bigred 4:28 pm 02 Oct 17

The strangest thing I see is all the vacant kerbside parking while all the cars are parked on verges, parkland and nature strips. Please explain it to me.

dungfungus 2:43 pm 02 Oct 17

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Two police pursuit cars chasing a driver in a go kart (no lights either) through the Gowrie and Fadden streets at 3.00am in the morning. They couldn’t catch him/her.

Okay, this beats mine. But what were you doing at 3am 🙂

Fair comment; it was the noise of the un-muffled go kart and the flashing lights of the police cars that woke me.

Maya123 12:10 pm 02 Oct 17

dungfungus said :

Two police pursuit cars chasing a driver in a go kart (no lights either) through the Gowrie and Fadden streets at 3.00am in the morning. They couldn’t catch him/her.

Okay, this beats mine. But what were you doing at 3am 🙂

dungfungus 7:18 pm 01 Oct 17

Two police pursuit cars chasing a driver in a go kart (no lights either) through the Gowrie and Fadden streets at 3.00am in the morning. They couldn’t catch him/her.

Maya123 11:38 am 01 Oct 17

A driver shooting up in the car beside me at the lights.

Maryann Mussared 11:06 am 01 Oct 17

I used to see a little alpaca being driven around – sometimes it was dyed pink! I also saw a battered Mercedes with two rather large merino sheep in the back seat in the Woolfest Parade in Boorowa a few years back. I suspect they were not wearing seatbelts…. But what I would really like to see inside cars is elbows, arms and feet.

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