Some observations on driving in Australia.... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 2:22 pm Thread Starter
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Some observations on driving in Australia....

So, I just spent a week driving around. I have felt something was up on previous visits but couldn't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps now I have. This, after having lived in the US for 10 years.

1. The tailgating is extreme here. I thought it was bad on the NJ Turnpike, but they are beginners compared to here. This is not being undertaken by young/hurried drivers trying to get somewhere fast, this is the norm, by everyday drivers. I would consider this type of tailgating very hazardous. Cross the Bridge, down Military Road, on the Mx motorways....it made my blood boil.
2. Right turn with no signal.....this I was very surprised about, since when I left years ago it was rigidly enforced and you risked strong following-car censure if you tried this. Now, it happened every day. And to show how accepted it has become, the following cars in all situations didn't make any protest, just sat there meekly, unbelievable, leaving up to me to do the citizenly thing and give them blasts on the horn from several cars back.
3. Lots of lane changing with no signalling. This used to earn an instant pull-over and minimum verbal warning from the cops. It was never done in the good old days.
4. My brother-in-law and friends related many driving experiences on the Mx roads around Sydney, where he/they have come upon multiple car accidents on straights. Since speed cannot be a factor (speeds here are a joke), it must things like 1 & 3.

So, I think the problem really is that the whole policing method has changed with the advent of speed cameras. The policy is to slow everyone down, enforce relentlessly/without-question, then any accidents are comparitively minor. Trouble is, this has gone hand-in-hand with lack of police presence on the roads, so now all the other road rules, those which need a visual/presence to enforce, are not being enforced so we are getting some pretty bad, crappy driving becoming the norm.

NSW at least, I found driving here a pretty dismal event.

Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #2 of 10 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 3:00 pm
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Can't say that I've driven around Sydney for quite a while now, but I can say that in all the years I lived in Sydney, I never encountered the kind of driving challenges your reporting. You must have been unlucky?

Cheers

Barry

Barry Lane
Brisbane
Australia
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post #3 of 10 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 4:46 pm Thread Starter
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...well, it was the repeated nature of these that caused me to comment, isolated incidences are just that. Saving grace...none of that frustrating, indecisive, over-politeness so prevalent in the US.

Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #4 of 10 Old Dec 30th, 2007, 5:51 pm
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Cool yeppp this is the norm

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmg08057
<snip>
1. The tailgating is extreme here. I thought it was bad on the NJ Turnpike, but they are beginners compared to here. This is not being undertaken by young/hurried drivers trying to get somewhere fast, this is the norm, by everyday drivers. I would consider this type of tailgating very hazardous. Cross the Bridge, down Military Road, on the Mx motorways....it made my blood boil.
2. Right turn with no signal.....this I was very surprised about, since when I left years ago it was rigidly enforced and you risked strong following-car censure if you tried this. Now, it happened every day. And to show how accepted it has become, the following cars in all situations didn't make any protest, just sat there meekly, unbelievable, leaving up to me to do the citizenly thing and give them blasts on the horn from several cars back.
3. Lots of lane changing with no signalling. This used to earn an instant pull-over and minimum verbal warning from the cops. It was never done in the good old days.
4. My brother-in-law and friends related many driving experiences on the Mx roads around Sydney, where he/they have come upon multiple car accidents on straights. Since speed cannot be a factor (speeds here are a joke), it must things like 1 & 3.

So, I think the problem really is that the whole policing method has changed with the advent of speed cameras. The policy is to slow everyone down, enforce relentlessly/without-question, then any accidents are comparitively minor. Trouble is, this has gone hand-in-hand with lack of police presence on the roads, so now all the other road rules, those which need a visual/presence to enforce, are not being enforced so we are getting some pretty bad, crappy driving becoming the norm.

NSW at least, I found driving here a pretty dismal event.
Morning Rmg 08057,
Well that sorta puts things in perspective, and I thought it was just me being paranoid that everyone wanted to kill me each day for the last 30 years I have been riding into Sydney...boring!

It is just a huge PITA these cage drivers..... in fact it is that bad that I have even emailed the local TV current affairs program offering to use a helmet cam each day coming into and out of work, download the details each week for them to do a topic on trying to survive on two wheels...the amount of drivers using mobiles, reading papers, one clown was even using the phone whilst rumaging around invoices on the seat besides him whilst trying to meander the normal "death rush" home...ha!
.....and you are having a go after only a week (joke)...hehehehhehehe
besides the crap driving, the crap roads, how's the weather for you this week??? when are you back in Sydney?
NYE and I'm here at work, traffic was great this morning, bit like a Sunday drive, but then they had erected the "Special Event" signs where I park Beryl Beemer each day in Hickson st....bugger, just as well I have a fall back park for all day. Will stay in here at work for tonight to watch the fireworks, SWMO will come in later this afternoon bringing the prawns, bbq chook and a bottle of wine. We'll be in the Board room on L15 Grosvenor Place (a block away from the Harbour Bridge) looking down on the million poor sods all fighting to use the portaloos at 23:59...hehehhe heyyyyy Hilton an Rena were with us this time last year....pity you weren't back in Sydney today...(or are you) then you could come and enjoy the scene...if you're around give me a call on 0427 451 962.

cheers

Phill
19XX BSA 125cc "racing" Bantam
1950 Sunbeam 500cc S7 Combo
19XX Royal Enfield 500 J2 combo
19XX BSA 500cc single B33
1960 Triumph 650cc Tiger 110
1970 Honda 750cc four K1
1975 Triumph Trident 750 triple
1978 XS1100E 1100cc "The Tardis" (ret)
1999 K1200LT "Beryl Beemer"

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post #5 of 10 Old Jan 1st, 2008, 9:12 pm
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Dont we just have all the fun! Sydney commuting is probably 85-90% of my riding, you just learn to deal with it.
People tailgate in traffic because if they dont someone just pushes in, its easier to leave just a little tighter squeeze to remove the temptation . There's nearly always enough room to squeeze an LT in though!

Hope you got a great view of the Pyro's Phil! We just drank Margaritas and watched on tele this year, couldn't be bothered dealing with the crowds.

Chris
Sydney, NSW
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post #6 of 10 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 5:01 pm
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Cool riding in Sydney is sooooooooooooooo...errrrr what is the word?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cws
Dont we just have all the fun! People tailgate in traffic because if they dont someone just pushes in, its easier to leave just a little tighter squeeze to remove the temptation . There's nearly always enough room to squeeze an LT in though!
Hi Chris, yepp the pyro's were ok, the pain of getting home was the worst, probably left here at 00:30 and got home 17kms away at 02:00...never again...until next year maybe...haheh

Forgot to include this "Basic Driving Tips for Sydney" in the previous email which woulda helped RMG 0805789056359201738692686335729910........


Basic rules for driving in Sydney Australia.
1. Turn signals will give away your next move. A real Sydney Driver never uses them.
2. Under no circumstances should you leave any distance between you and the car in front of you, or somebody else will fill in that space, putting you in an even more dangerous situation.
3. Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane-change is considered "going with the flow."
4. The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the chance you have of getting hit.
5. Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive bodywork. The other guy doesn't have anything to lose.
6. Braking is to be done as hard and as late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving a nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it's a chance to stretch your legs.
7. Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions and are apparently not enforceable in the metro area during rush hour.
8. Always slow down and rubber-neck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tire.
9. Everybody thinks their vehicle is better than yours, especially 4WD drivers.
10. Learn to swerve abruptly. Sydney is the home of High-Speed Slalom Driving thanks to the RTA, which puts potholes in key locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them on their toes.
11. It is traditional in Sydney to honk your horn at cars that don't move the instant the light changes.
12. Seeking eye contact with another driver revokes your right of way.
13. Never take a green light at face value. Always look right and left before proceeding.
14. Remember that the goal of every Sydney driver is to get there first, by whatever means necessary.
15. Real Sydney women drivers can put on pantyhose and apply eye makeup at 75 k/ph in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
16. Real Sydney men drivers can remove pantyhose and a bra at 75k/ph in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
17. Heavy fog and rain are no reasons to change any of the previously listed rules. These weather conditions are God's way ensuring a natural selection process for body shops, junkyards, and new vehicle sales.
18. There is a common held belief in Sydney that highspeed tailgating in heavy traffic reduces petrol consumption as you get sucked along in the slipstream of the car in front.
19. It's OK to cut off fully loaded semi-trailers, road trains and buses because they have brakes.
20. It is an essential duty of the driver to preserve the life of his passengers. Hence no matter how much of an inconvenience it may be, always find a detour around Mt Druit, Lakemba, Punchbowl and Cabramatta.
21. Always anticipate oncoming traffic while driving down a one way street.
22. It's O.K when driving in Sydney's Western suburbs to air your grievances at bad drivers by giving the "one finger salute" while screaming out "arsehole". But it is imperative you are driving a turbo charged 5 litre V8 with a crow bar in your lap.

Phill
19XX BSA 125cc "racing" Bantam
1950 Sunbeam 500cc S7 Combo
19XX Royal Enfield 500 J2 combo
19XX BSA 500cc single B33
1960 Triumph 650cc Tiger 110
1970 Honda 750cc four K1
1975 Triumph Trident 750 triple
1978 XS1100E 1100cc "The Tardis" (ret)
1999 K1200LT "Beryl Beemer"

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post #7 of 10 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 5:44 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillWard
Basic rules for driving in Sydney Australia....
LMAO!!$$#%^&
Oh... how true!

Chris
Sydney, NSW
2005 Dark Graphite Metallic K1200LT
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post #8 of 10 Old Jan 6th, 2008, 2:59 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks Phil for the offer, I was over in NZ by then. My point was not that drivers are out to get us, that is true of every location, world-wide....Sydney holds no special fears there. It was the incremental change in driving habits that prompted my observations. When you are in it every day, its hard to see the slow changes over time...easier for someone coming in from the outside.

Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #9 of 10 Old Jan 6th, 2008, 6:44 pm
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No surprises...

At least you know where you stand with Sydney drivers... If you treat everyone as an idiot...you won't be disappointed....

Ian
Melbourne, Australia

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post #10 of 10 Old Jan 7th, 2008, 2:43 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onions
At least you know where you stand with Sydney drivers... If you treat everyone as an idiot...you won't be disappointed....
...I like America's answer to illegal immigrants....a big fence...I can just see it now along the Murray, keep out all the Vicswegians hoping for a better life.... :-)
PS: I don't really like that immigration answer....in the US..

Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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