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Why are Canberra drivers so bad?

By ps0104 22 March 2011 116

cars

You don’t have to have been lurking around RA to notice a very common theme of posts ranting about the crazy/stupid/downright dangerous acts of driving on Canberra’s roads.

My question is- WHY?

Why are people so stupid on the road here? Why did my insurance premiums increase by almost 50% when moving here from interstate due to ‘higher rates of claim’? Why do I never feel safe driving to work? Why can people drive perfectly fine (on the whole) in other places, but not in Canberra?

This point was hammered home to me in the past few days. I have just returned to Canberra after spending 2 weeks in Brisbane. I did a hefty amount of driving in this time, all over Brisbane and to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Sure, the traffic is much worse in Brisbane, but on the whole, people drove safely, were curteous to other drivers and left plenty of room between themselved and other cars.

I’ve been back three days and I have already witnessed one accident, driven past 2 others, been tailgated more times than I can count, been cut off by people cutting across lanes, not indicating etc etc etc. The difference between the two cities is profound. We all know Canberra drivers are useless in the rain but isnt that even more reason to take it easy?

So why is this the case? Why is it so bad in Canberra? Is it a lack of policing? Is it a lack of driver training? Is it poor roads? Or are people just plain dumb?

Rant over.

What’s Your opinion?


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Why are Canberra drivers so bad?
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Conan of Cooma 8:20 am 03 Dec 12

LaZingara said :

I’ve just moved from Sydney. I’m frightened and frustrated.
It seems the concept keep left has never been heard of
One must veer to the left to make a right hand turn in a car like a tractor driver so if you are following you can’t get past he driver and cant guess he is driving a car like a semi trailer
and the mergingn they can’t do it
I’ve never been abused like i have been in Canberra for drivimng correctly
They are frankly dangerous and it’s a scarly experience to drive in such a small town with the things I have seen here.
What is being done about driver education?
Leeza Silverman

Surely you meant to say you were a “Successful escapee from Sydney…”?

Also, are you an appropriate contact for pharmaceuticals?

DrKoresh 10:50 pm 02 Dec 12

LaZingara said :

I’ve just moved from Sydney. I’m frightened and frustrated.
It seems the concept keep left has never been heard of
One must veer to the left to make a right hand turn in a car like a tractor driver so if you are following you can’t get past he driver and cant guess he is driving a car like a semi trailer
and the mergingn they can’t do it
I’ve never been abused like i have been in Canberra for drivimng correctly
They are frankly dangerous and it’s a scarly experience to drive in such a small town with the things I have seen here.
What is being done about driver education?
Leeza Silverman

It’s not the education it’s the culture. And could you please stop signing your posts? It’s kinda annoying.

460cixy 8:18 pm 02 Dec 12

Do you not know how to merge in Canberra? You wait till you get 100m before you need to form one lane then stand on the loud pedal to catch the car infront wait till there driving over the writing on the road saying form one lane now you push them off in to the grass to get in front but never ever look them in the eye just look straight a head

LaZingara 4:31 pm 02 Dec 12

I’ve just moved from Sydney. I’m frightened and frustrated.
It seems the concept keep left has never been heard of
One must veer to the left to make a right hand turn in a car like a tractor driver so if you are following you can’t get past he driver and cant guess he is driving a car like a semi trailer
and the mergingn they can’t do it
I’ve never been abused like i have been in Canberra for drivimng correctly
They are frankly dangerous and it’s a scarly experience to drive in such a small town with the things I have seen here.
What is being done about driver education?
Leeza Silverman

astrojax 8:36 pm 02 Apr 11

beginning with the driver behind from out of town not expecting the sudden stop.

well, if they’re not tailgating, a sudden stop shouldn’t present such a danger… hang on, canberra drivers you say..? ah well, what was that towies’ no. again? 🙂

and really, roflmao, do/did you find obeying the road laws so testing? have you now relented and become your mother? i find a combination of awareness/defensive driving, courtesy and obedience to the rules means a relatively smooth run most places and not much slower getting there with less wear on the vehicle. i commend it to all.

roflmao 1:44 pm 02 Apr 11

Well driving in Canberra is something to get used to.
I have often wanted to get a bumper sticker which says “fully licenced drivers lead by example”. While I was being taught how to drive, I saw my mother was speeding on the way home and I pointed it out (She’s in the AFP BTW). She said “it is ok, because I am experienced”, i also think she didn’t like me questioning her. Though more to the point i believe a lot of people just don’t care.
When I received my P-plate licence I decided I would set a good example and try to help bring a positive view for at least some P-plate drivers, by following all the laws. Though it was very testing as the majority of cars would speed pass, tail gate and do all sorts of stupid shit past me, and the majority are fully licenced drivers. In the end I went to dinner parties and family outings and every time driving came up, its P-plate drivers are horrible always speeding, drink driving, and crashing. This leads me to my second point, if you stereotype someone as being BAD and don’t give them the chance that’s how they will turn out.
P-Plate to a lot of drivers means irresponsible, it should mean provisional driver, give them a chance and don’t label. Fully licenced drivers need to lead by example, if they speed and get away with it; it gives p-plate drivers more justification to speed. While I am doing study for Psychology I stumbled upon a research article which stated that people are affected a lot by expectation. Labels are powerful things, so try not to label your p-plate driver as bad and irresponsible because they will take that on board. They won’t see the point in doing the right thing if people will treat them like you’re doing the wrong thing anyway. It takes a strong person to work against stereotypes.
So to finish my rant on fully licensed drivers and stereotyping P-plate drivers, I would like to ask you Have you ever broken the law on the road, and have ever done anything stupid on the road either by accident or because you thought in that circumstance it would be ok? Then ask yourself what massage does this send to young drivers?
On an unrelated point its better than Bathurst, drivers there will expect to stop for pedestrians waiting to cross the road, when there aren’t pedestrian crossings. I can see a whole lot of problems with that, beginning with the driver behind from out of town not expecting the sudden stop.

triffid 12:45 pm 29 Mar 11

EvanJames said :

I deduct 10 IQ points from every “driver” that I see indicating right as they exit a roundabout.

Only 10? That’s very charitable.

Davo111 12:39 pm 29 Mar 11

Jethro said :

Surely you could force retesting of anyone who has had their license suspended. That is more than a reasonable start.

wow, thats not already the case? i didnt know that. Yep, sounds like a good start

EvanJames 10:56 am 29 Mar 11

gazket said :

Most Gungahlin residents can’t even use a roundabout correctly. a lot use their right blinker to go straight ahead…… retards.

This seems to prevail in the rest of Canberra and surrounds, too. I have seen two separate Qbn cop cars doing it also. What kind of drooling idiot thinks that you indicate right while turning your wheel left to exit the roundabout?

I deduct 10 IQ points from every “driver” that I see indicating right as they exit a roundabout.

Jethro 6:55 am 29 Mar 11

Innovation said :

Davo111 said :

Innovation said :

As there is an argument that those who have accidents are even more in need of retesting, perhaps the number of at fault accidents should be increased to say two or three per year before testing occurs to decrease the risk of people not reporting them?

but still, if you just had a 3rd prang for the year, wouldn’t you be inclined not to report it?

It might be better if the ‘retesting’ list is compiled from fixed speed cameras, red light cameras and cops giving tickets, rather than reported accidents. However, even with the latter, some might argue it might give another reason to try and evade police.

If you had a third prang for the year youré probably going to be inclined not to report it simply because your insurance company is going to be unlikely want to touch you with a ten foot pole any more. Camera only infringements as a basis for testing is getting bit arbitrary again (and, using your argument, apply to the group most likely to get someone else to cop the points for them anyway). From what I’ve read, those people evading the police are often unlicensed anyway.

Oh well, it’s a shame as I would really like to see retesting introduced but retesting too big a group would attract too much community resistance and there would need to be a gradual cultural acceptance to the concept. I know of some very incompetent, overconfident and dangerous drivers on the roads, some who never had a driving test but got their licenses in times past through administrative anomalies. There isn’t even a requirement to retest older drivers (and the annual medical assessment is a joke) but just retesting older drivers simply because of their age would probably be discriminatory.

Apart from a couple of people here, there doesn’t even seem to be support from RIOTACT contributors to the idea of retesting and certainly no consensus as to what group should be tested. So any idea is highly unlikely to get the support of the ACT Government, particularly if it means that they would diverge from what is done in the States.

Surely you could force retesting of anyone who has had their license suspended. That is more than a reasonable start. After a while you could move it to people who have lost half their points. They would need to be retested in order to have the other half of their points available to them.

Of course, people who deliberately break road rules aren’t necessarily unskilled drivers. They are just arrogant and thoughtless drivers. Many of them could probably manage to control their speed and driving behaviour for one test, but it would add a disincentive to poor driving by adding an extra hurdle.

sleepyphoenix 12:29 am 29 Mar 11

astrojax said :

Solidarity said :

Why does everyone think that they’re a good driver?

’cause i am. 🙂

i actually don’t think canberra drivers are any worse than elsewhere (though i have some concurrence with the comments about queenslanders!) canberra has its own foibles and we notice them – tailgating, for one. grrrrrr… – but we generally have some idea about how to use a round-a-bout and are getting better at zip merging. but there are dicks and moron drivers the country – the globe – over and we rant about our tintop lunatics because they’re ours and we see them day to day.

that said, i think the wide open spaces of big canberra roads can lead to a lax attitude in some drivers about their ‘space’ on the road – i had a friend years ago who came from sunny sydney already a motorcyclist, and a good, courteous one, who learned to drive a car here and i am never very comfortable in a car with her driving yet i’d gladly ride pillion with her. weird, huh?

i agreed untill you said canberra drivers have some idea of zip merging.

zip merging does not mean stopping the car or driving next to someone who is also in the merging lane… I am yet to cross a zip merge where courtesy and common sense have not been lacking… when I do I will gladly retract my statement

sleepyphoenix 12:00 am 29 Mar 11

Jethro said :

CanberraGirl19 said :

I think a lot of it is just a complete lack of common courtesy. It’s very frustrating to have both lanes (or all three lanes) blocked by cars who travel side by side for a kilometre or more because the car in the “fast lane” isn’t actually passing anyone. Either slow down a bit and get in behind them, or speed up a bit and get in front so everyone else can pass.

Well, if they are all going the speed limit no-one can legally pass them anyway, as that would involve breaking the speed limit. The right hand lane isn’t the ‘there isn’t a speed limit lane’.

I stick to the left in any case, but your post does reflect a common attitude of the serial tailgater.

20 bucks says I could go 20 ks under the speed limit and still over take half of canberra.. that is if the going 30 ks under wasn’t in the right lane

sleepyphoenix 11:50 pm 28 Mar 11

Mysteryman said :

Really? I’ve spent a lot of time driving all over the place. I’m a motorcyclist also, and I think I’m pretty self aware when I’m on the roads.

Over Christmas I was up on the NSW/QLD border for a few weeks and without question, the QLD drivers on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane were the worst drivers I’ve encountered in a long time. I would describe them as the total opposite of how you have. I mentioned it to a friend of mine who is from Brisbane and she got quite defensive about it – until she came for a drive with me. After 15 minutes of pointing out erratic, rude, crazy, and dangerous behaviour, she agreed with me.

Canberra drivers can be quite complacent. I think that’s due to having (generally) excellent roads and very little policing. Are we the worst? That’s debatable.

your a canberra driver. what would you know about safe driving? erratic rude crazy and dangerous behavour to a canberra driver could be anything from using your blinker in a correct and predictive manner to driving 100 on the highway during 5 pm….

Innovation 9:38 pm 28 Mar 11

Davo111 said :

Innovation said :

As there is an argument that those who have accidents are even more in need of retesting, perhaps the number of at fault accidents should be increased to say two or three per year before testing occurs to decrease the risk of people not reporting them?

but still, if you just had a 3rd prang for the year, wouldn’t you be inclined not to report it?

It might be better if the ‘retesting’ list is compiled from fixed speed cameras, red light cameras and cops giving tickets, rather than reported accidents. However, even with the latter, some might argue it might give another reason to try and evade police.

If you had a third prang for the year youré probably going to be inclined not to report it simply because your insurance company is going to be unlikely want to touch you with a ten foot pole any more. Camera only infringements as a basis for testing is getting bit arbitrary again (and, using your argument, apply to the group most likely to get someone else to cop the points for them anyway). From what I’ve read, those people evading the police are often unlicensed anyway.

Oh well, it’s a shame as I would really like to see retesting introduced but retesting too big a group would attract too much community resistance and there would need to be a gradual cultural acceptance to the concept. I know of some very incompetent, overconfident and dangerous drivers on the roads, some who never had a driving test but got their licenses in times past through administrative anomalies. There isn’t even a requirement to retest older drivers (and the annual medical assessment is a joke) but just retesting older drivers simply because of their age would probably be discriminatory.

Apart from a couple of people here, there doesn’t even seem to be support from RIOTACT contributors to the idea of retesting and certainly no consensus as to what group should be tested. So any idea is highly unlikely to get the support of the ACT Government, particularly if it means that they would diverge from what is done in the States.

gazket 7:01 pm 28 Mar 11

Most Gungahlin residents can’t even use a roundabout correctly. a lot use their right blinker to go straight ahead…… retards.

6

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