Monday, February 25, 2008

The Motorists

It is a while since I have given you a harangue about car drivers in our fair city. Melbourne is going to sink under the weight of cars on the road soon. By the beginning of February this year, traffic was already worse than at the end of last year. Streets and roads I used to drive on and were free flowing are now quite congested.

In the areas I drive in often, I have been trying to observe traffic congestion and what causes it. You have to be careful here as what may seem like one area congested for a reason, could be just delaying what I call a filter point further along the way. At some point along a major road, there will be a point where the traffic will congest.

But in busy areas, the three point turner who just pulls out and blocks traffic in both directions is despicable. I am not sure what right they think they have. Their arrogance is beyond belief.

But I have less of a problem with them than I do with sheerly stupid person. The one who intends going straight ahead but pulls up behind a right turning vehicle at the traffic lights. Other drivers who don't want to seem too aggressive to go to left of both vehicles and possibly have a merging matter immediately after the intersection where there are parked cars, assume this car has pulled up behind the car going straight ahead because the right turning car is going straight ahead. Is that clear? Probably not.

Well, if you want to go straight ahead, why would you stop behind a car turning right? Why not just pull to the left and go around it?

Just as odd is people who at the last minute make a dramatic swing to the left to go around when they had plenty of time to make a smooth diverge to the left. Two seconds before coming up behind the vehicle turning right, they have realised it is stationary with its right indicator on. It had its indicator on all the time and there was plenty of time to smoothly diverge left.

These idiots really don't have much idea about driving. Perhaps they have dreams of driving in their local village, but that is not how the real world works.

Their numbers are growing as is the number of people in cars doing everything except concentrate on driving.

Bad accidents on country roads, minor collisions in the city, the car in front of you not starting off when the traffic light turns green, it is all about concentration. Driving is a serious business. You need to concentrate hard. It is not thinking or dreaming time and certainly not a time to make phone calls or text. Your full attention needs to be on driving and absorbing what is happening around you and reacting appropriately.

I will now stop bashing my head on a brick wall, because I know as our population increases at an extraordinary rate, it is only going to get worse.

Of course, the person on pubic transport is free to daydream on and be as vacant as they wish.


  1. I used to drive to work in the CBD every day before I left.
    I consider myself quite a good driver, considering I've been steering vehicles since I was all of about 8 years old, back on the farm.
    The levels of stupidity/arrogance/absentmindedness of some drivers beggars belief.

    I think there should be some kind of test required if you're going to drive in the inner-city/suburbs. It's amazing how much of a hold-up one persons bad driving can cause. Damn
    Accordion Effect

  2. I am one of those young age drivers too Jiminy. I can't understand why it is so hard.

  3. Oh, I have heard that the accordion effect does not happen in Italy. When a traffic light goes green, all move off at the same time, unlike here where one starts off, then the next, then the next....

  4. How interesting. Italy is awesome. This bit of info only provides further incentive for me to move to the Italian alps eat fresh pizza and drink lots of wine.

    I think if this 'everyone take off at once' system was implemented in Melbourne, the first week would be mayhem, but people would sure as hell learn to adopt pretty damn quickly.

  5. Are you talking about car drivers here or the way the old biddies behave in our local supermarket?

  6. Unless you live in the country its the same everywhere. Around where I live they're pulling down single dwellings and building 6 to 8 villa's and seeing how most families have two cars there is now 12 - 14 where there used to be 2. I hate to think what the traffic is going to be like it 10 or 20 years time.

    I hate bad mannered drivers, and at the risk of sounding like my mother... P platers are definitely the main offenders.

  7. This post reminded me of an email I received so I went sifting through my trash to find it...

    Women Drivers!!

    Just this morning... I was driving down the motor way and I glanced to my left and noticed the woman in the car next to me leaning forward towards the rear vision mirror putting her lippy on. I looked away for a couple of seconds and when I looked back she was half way over in my lane, still working on that makeup.

    As a man, I don't scare easily but let me tell ya, she scared me so much I dropped my portable shaver, which knocked the donut out of my other hand, and in all the confusion of trying to straighten out the car using my knees against the steering wheel, my cell phone fell from between my ear and my shoulder and fell into the coffee between my legs, splashing and burning Big Jim and the Twins, ruined the damn phone, soaked my jeans and disconnected an important call.

    Damn women drivers!!!

  8. LOL Jo!

    I'm glad I no longer drive...except to drive people up the wall :P

  9. At least in the supermarket I can give pained expressions to old ladies. Bit hard to do the same to a car driver who is busy on their phone.

    I know Jo, I know. Too many people. The joke is good.

    Lucky you Jayne.

  10. Anonymous5:22 pm

    Andrew, I don't know what PUBIC transport is - but it sounds damn insalubrious if you ask me!
    The question on how to manage traffic congestion is not answerable to myopic road engineers or car lobbyists (like the evil RACV) - but answerable to urban planners. Cars are spatially, economically, environmentally, medically and psychologically unhealthy and the government should treat it as such. Unfortunately, Scumby would rather invest in a sex-change operation so this remains (sadly) a pipe-dream.

  11. It is what pubic lice use to get around. Well picked up. No one else did.

    Melbourne was a planned city. At some point that stopped and became an ad hoc city.

  12. A someone who was innocently and disastrously knocked off her motorbike at a quiet country hospital roundabout, drivers drift off into la-la land all the time.

    Music, mobiles, planning your day, thinking about the fight you had with your boss, and in my case, his son's birthday party; people just don't pay enough attention to the most important matter at hand.

    Others pay the consequences.

  13. Yes Bliss Hill. People forget it is a serious serious thing to be doing. Hope you have recovered fully.

  14. Sorry Bliss. Clearly you haven't.

  15. Thanks Andrew, I'se OK. Just a little pipped off .........