Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Down Below

"It was a difficult birth. I am small down below", so said a friend's mother quite a number of years ago. It was far more information than we wanted to know.

Anyway, I am talking about down below us in St Kilda Road. The craziness that we see is unbelievable at times. Occasionally I will take a photo. Here are three.

I think this was Australia Day. There is always a large gathering of vintage, veteran and classic cars at the Domain, so it is fun to watch them come and go. Or occasionally, not go, but fail to proceed. These are relatively modern.


Minor collision. The van ran into the back of the 4wd which then knocked over the motorbike and broke the bike's pannier.


Not a bad night shot by me. I must have altered settings. We have two idiots in one photo. There is a car waiting to right in the left of the photo. He or she has stopped with the front of the car well past the stop line, thereby not having the car sitting on the road loop to bring up the right turn arrow. The taxi behind as stayed well back, so it is not on the loop either. The motorists usually sit there for a couple of sets of lights without the right turn arrow coming up, and then in exasperation, drive on straight. If only they stopped with the front of their car at the stop line, all would be well. Sometimes they think they by creeping their car forward, magic will happen. If they go too far forward and foul the the tram track, you can expect much gonging from a tram.

Then travelling the other direction and wanting to turn right, another car is sitting well past the stop line. In fact so far over the line that he or she set off the red light camera. Flash!!! Less tax I have to pay.

This stopping your car at a stop line when a traffic light or arrow is such a difficult concept for some motorists.

17 comments:

  1. You need to stop at a certain point for the turn arrow to change? That doesn't sound right. The arrows, like the lights are supposed to be on timers, to give everyone a fair chance at proceeding or turning. Having the tram line there shouldn't make any difference to that.

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  2. It is amazing more of us are not killed in traffic accidents. Seriously.

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  3. You do need to stop at a certain point River, that is where the stop line is. Most traffic lights now rarely work on a simple timer. Activity detected by the loops in the road are analysed by the controls and lights adjusted accordingly. It is pointless having green arrows activate if there are no turning cars. Think of the road loop as a pedestrian button. A car sitting stationary on the loop is like pressing the button to get a walk signal. Have you ever noticed the road loops? Many don't, but they are easy to see where there are cut into the road.

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  4. Too right Rubye. Driving is a dangerous business. Yet I worry more about a car careering off the road and hitting me when I am on a footpath.

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  5. You can usually see where the pressure pad is by the square cuts into the asphalt just before the big thick DO NOT CROSS THIS STOP LINE.
    Used to curse the few tools I got stuck begind who would blithely sit a bit back from it and wonder why the damn arrow light never came on.

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  6. see if you can get a pic with me in it as I tootle past!
    The thing that gets me is people that flash their lights at traffic lights, thinking for some odd reason that this triggers the change. Was it ever that way? Coz it baffles me. Surely the bits in the road are kinda obvious.

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  7. Yes, the loop is obvious even to me - but only because the Other told me of its existence, and told me that lights don't work on timers any more, then told me to drive faster, change gears and much much more... but I digress.
    Is the gonging of a tram as efficient as a loop?

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  8. I've learned something - had no idea that there were 'bits in the road' - had thought that the lights were set to timed intervals that changed depending on rush hour, wee hours of the morning, etc.

    Feel particularly blonde now....

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  9. Exactly Jayne. It is the person behind who innocently suffers. Now what do you do when a car sits over the line and on the pedestrian crossing area? I pretend to be looking at my phone and nearly walk into the offending car. It is sometimes effective for laying guilt.

    Fen, text me as you approach and will stand out on the balcony and wave. I really don't know about flashing lights at traffic lights, although it does trigger a memory of something I read a long time time ago.

    FruitCake, I'd like to say that it is older people such as yourself who don't understand this modern technology, but it is not. Young people equally offend. I don't know about gonging. I may well travel on trams, but I avoid them at all costs when I am driving.

    Kath, you are among many. I know rather a lot about road loops, but I don't know why I know. I'd be curious to know, but I expect you have road loops in Geneva too.

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  10. I wasn't aware about these loops. I wonder if the same thing exists in Sydney? I suspect not as I can't recall seeing the situation you describe occurring here.

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  11. I think they would be found world over Victor. As far as I know, every set of traffic lights will be connected to road loops.

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  12. I've never noticed any road loops, over here a lot of roads have a left turn feed in lane where you can turn in as moving traffic allows. For right turns, there's just the arrows and there's always someone turning so I haven't noticed whether the arrows don't work if no-one is turning.

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  13. River, I expect I have spent way too much time sitting on the balcony staring down at the traffic.

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  14. Oh Jesus Mary and Joseph, Andrew I am terrified of how I will go trying to sort out your road rules down here re trams and turns etc - so far I have avoided them when I have driven into St Kilda and I am pretty pleased that i haven't shirked driving in the city - although I admit to white knuckles at times... having a van i can pretend it doesn't have great speed and maybe people forgive my NSW plates and my trips have been pleasant so far...My daughter has told me what to do but until you actually do it you don't know how it will go. Maybe one day you will look down there and there will be a big white van with a pop top roof, doing something completely stupid - could be me...check for the plates and be merciful

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  15. MC, good idea to keep the plates for as long as possible as drivers are much more tolerant of interstaters. Except when it is clear they are a local and in an interstate registered hire car.

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  16. Tragically, indicating, waiting to overtake until the blind uphill corner is passed and actually learning to drive/steer/reverse a giant 4WD+3TonneCaravan combo is also redundant.

    And yet our elected leaders express 'concern' about the rising road toll!!

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  17. Red, as a teen I could reverse a trailer. I wonder if it is like riding a bike, you don't forget. Once two combined vehicles exceed a certain weight, there should be a compulsory course or test at least.

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