The Roads just keep getting faster and more dangerous.
Posted: Wednesday, 13 January 2010
I'm sure it's much the same around the world, but have you noticed how Driving on any Australian road has become somewhat like a game of Russian Roulette.
Let me start with the first stanza of the Australian National Anthem...
Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free
We've golden soils, and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea
Our land abounds in Nature's Gifts, of beauty rich and rare
On history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair
I love Australia... the country that is lol, but the movie was great too!
However, I am growingly disappointed with the selfish attitudes at play on our roads. I think as people get older they forget the words of our national anthem and don't care. It actually contains some awesome patriotic freedom-fighting messages that are designed to inspire us to be better citizens and help fellow members of our community.
Well, that is still mostly true, but almost completely not so on the roads!
When driving, it appears MOST people speed, make dangerous moves, cut other cars off, drive with tunnel vision... the list is endless and we all know this list because we all look at BLAMING other DRIVERS when something dangerous happens on the road... even when something occurs that is PROBABLY as much our own fault.
Since the "Transport-Pathway" in Australia appears to be a jurisdiction unto itself, here's the Australian "Transport-Pathway" (TP) National Anthem I wrote for our roads:
On the road: TP-Australians let us break the law, for we're dumb and wanna speed
On the road: With pedal to the metal, let's burn more oil
On the road: No time for courtesy.
On the road: Big wheels that like to dodge and skip, with not a single care
On the road: Except for a diary page, says you're running late
On the road: Tell me, are we, there (yet)?
Good. The roads deserve acknowledgement. HA!
Now, in general, where there's an absence of radar traps, people are inclined to do some really dangerous things on the road. Is that just to arrive at their destination only a few seconds earlier than if they had just driven sensibly in the first place? Hmmm, I wonder.
When I was learning to drive, my lovely mother absolutely drummed it into me that: a car is a lethal weapon
- driving a car is just like carrying a gun with the safety disengaged. Well, I'm telling you now that there is no way I am going to let my concentration lapse for a second, because if that gun goes off, people could be hurt or killed. Yeah, but it still happens sometimes, usually when I am feeling tired. In fact, I don't dispute that from time to time this happens to all of us. Just keep in mind Doctor Karl's advice about "Micro-Sleeps".... Stop, Revive, Survive !
So, when you get behind the steering wheel, and start the engine, what are you thinking about?
Are you thinking about the journey, what roads you are planning to take to reach your destination?
Or is the route so programmed into your head, that you are only thinking of the destination? Seriously, ask yourself this question and answer yourself honestly. Isn't such complacency on our roads quite literally a killer? In the next few minutes I am going to prove to you, just how stupid it is to drive like most people sadly really do - like idiots!
Inter-staters are always picking on Canberra's roads
Folks around the country always have a bone to pick with Canberrans for a myriad of reasons, most of which are politically motivated of course ;)
The A.C.T is no longer federally governed, it has it's own state government just like every other state and territory in Australia. But, that hasn't stopped the stigma associated with our public service city, has it? lol. I reckon it's a nice place.
The roads in Canberra are great... no wonder people in other cities and towns are always so bitter, complaining that they went around and around in circles and couldn't find the way out. Maybe that was true a long time ago, but not so much these days.
However, the roads being designed in a good way, and kept in good condition, amounts to somewhat of a curse to your average sensible road-user.
The law is the law. Just because one is from Canberra, part of the Diplomatic Community, or because one drives a Mercedes or BMW, does not give anyone the right to speed, at ANY time! Though they sure do it, and the seemingly "more-important" have the tendency to make their drivers run red lights! This behaviour has caused some serious deadly crashes in the past, and that is just really quite sad when the reason was to make it in time for a scheduled air-flight.
Aaww... BUT WE ALL do it anyway. Those of us who don't like speeding, are forced to break the speed limit in order to navigate the road successfully... it's to avoid being boxed-in by the plethora of highly stupid drivers that make it a habit to drive at the speed limit PLUS 10%, and tailgate the car in front at the same time, on the motorway!
Parents get into road rage when driving, kids see it, and kids get into road rage when they grow up.
O.M.G... the beast is multiplying! lol.
Our multi-cultural society has created a mish-mash of inadequately trained drivers, from drivers who are allowed to drive under a license issued in a foreign country where the road conditions may be very different, and most certainly the road laws will be somewhat different too.
We are at risk on the roads to the actions of drivers who received their licence via a driving test that did not satisfactorily train them to drive. Having stated that, Australia's own road rules have been fixed up a lot over the past decade so that Aussie kids don't get out there poorly-educated at driving, and inevitably killed out there on the big highway!
So, What is DANGEROUS on a road graded at 80kph? Let's take Adelaide Avenue for example. In the right lane, this road is generally "SAFE" to drive at 90-100kph. In the left lane, there are so many on-ramps and off-ramps that it is no wonder the road is graded at 80kph. Almost everyone, if there are no obvious radar traps, travels in excess of 80kph, and some people, usually in large vehicles like utilities and 4WDs, are known to tailgate other drivers, who are safely doing the speed limit. When the opportunity arrives, they speed past like a bullet.
One particular day in Canberra, I was initially first in a line of cars stopped at traffic lights, and by half-a-click along the dual-lane road, all the cars that were previously behind me, were then all in front of me, and gaining a lead. On the flick of the Green Light, I accelerated to 80kph as fast as I could to test them all. Most of the other drivers took a little longer to get to 80kph speed-limit, but they were soon ahead of me, speeding away into the distance. Ok, ok, so who cares about them now, just look at the snow on those mountaintops I can see ahead too - down in Tuggers... just breath-taking!
The Pacific Motorway - don't you just LOVE it :p
Now back home to the sub-tropical life... the Pacific Motorway in South-East Queensland is another crazy road that I am all too familiar with.
To explain, I can only imagine that drivers are not able to read speed signs, which also must mean they are unable to count. O.M.G Innumeracy in our day and age, yikes! I know this is not quite true, but how else can you explain being passed quickly by two cars on either side of you, when you are already sitting on 111kph in a 110 zone?
This "dual-passing" happens several times on each journey I make on the Pacific Motorway. I've also noticed a mean middle finger, or a honk of another car's horn, and sometimes a death-stare over the shoulder as they pass. Evidently they are telling me off for failing to keep up with the break-neck pace set by everyone else on the road at that moment.
More recently I had just passed the Smith Street Southport exit, sitting right on the limit of 110kph, when a Queensland Police Education Van quickly passed me. Normally I would hold the belief that the police have the training and skills to drive faster than the limit, and need to do so in order to catch offenders of the law. However, this time I just laughed with hysteria over the fact that this particular Police Education Van had "Every K over is a killer" marketing painted right on the side of it!
Go freaken figure ey? Yeah I know, Who's setting the example here for driving safely at the speed limit? The truth is, it appears no one cares... until they actually get caught by a radar trap... but even then the fine is labelled a "Police revenue raiser"... Well, um, dipwads, you were speeding and you deserve to be fined for it. Period.
What's this, what's going on?
This is my CALL to increase the penalties for speeding to double demerits at all times, and to double the fines. Someone who is caught speeding a second time should have their license automatically cancelled, a third time and your car is crushed... and you are forced to watch it come out the other end as a big metal cube!
One day we'll regret all the bad things we ever did on the road. That will be about when they start putting police cameras everywhere and then you'll never, ever get away with it again. My prediction is that the autorities will FORCE US 100% to drive safely, and the current behaviour on the roads gives them a MANDATE to do exactly that. I say, go on, let them do it. Hmmmm... Scared?? You should be!!
I totally reckon, drivers who "bend the rules" maybe speeding just a little to merge on the motorway, because of other stupid drivers boxing them in, should be given money for the risk they take. That is what is called, DEFENSIVE DRIVING. And good on you if that's what you do :)
Speeding to make a green light and having to stop for the red light anyway? Darn Stupid. This is because one is in a hurry yeah? I see it happen to people on the roads often, and it makes me laugh. What a waste of your precious expensive fuel.
Driving is all about observation. Knowing where your car is on the road at all times, and making yourself fully aware of potential hazards nearby and up ahead. When it comes down to it, most people just don't drive properly. Their prompt arrival at their intended destination is obviously more important to them than driving safely.
Why is it so important to be the first car, to be ahead of the rest? Why do people tailgate on someone who is already doing the speed limit? All this, despite all the profound evidence that such driving behaviour is DANGEROUS. It's all over the digital signs up and down the motorway... you know the ones... or can't you read like most of the people who dare venture into the "Transport Pathway" of Australia.
Please drive safely everyone. Let us rejoice, not break the law.
Oh aaand... 80kph in a 100kph zone is totally NOT safe btw !
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