Grumpy / Take a chill pill, Canberra!

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IT never ceases to amaze me just how much disregard is shown by motorists in Canberra for the absolute basic rules of the road.

Speed signs, stops signs, give-way signs, permanent road markings and traffic lights all seem to be shown an alarming level of disregard by motorists.

All these “risk controls” (if I may use the term) are put in place for very good reason and yet every day, motorists run the gauntlet and flirt with danger!

  • STOP signs: These are pretty much a no brainer. Stop means just that; stop! No ifs, buts or maybes! It seems to be extremely difficult for motorists to grasp on to this concept. Only the other morning, on my way to work, I was half way over the Aranda exit fly-over only to be met with a small truck barrelling through the stop sign with absolutely no hope or intention of stopping!
  • GIVE WAY signs: Again pretty much a no brainer and yet still motorists continue to pull out dangerously causing fellow motorists to brake quite heavily and increase the possibility of causing a rear-end collision from following motorists.
  • SPEED SIGNS: These are not a “if you wouldn’t mind, please try to keep to the posted speed limit”. They are mandatory and there to ensure that our vehicles travel at the safest determined speed over the nominated section of roadway. Statistics show that ACT drivers are travelling at an average of 10km/h above the posted limit.
  • TRAFFIC LIGHTS: How many times do we see motorists accelerating when approaching traffic lights that have just turned amber, only to inevitably run the red light?

Probably the most frightening thing is that a high percentage of these motorists have been taught to drive by their parents and are now, in turn, passing on the same culture to their children. It leaves little hope for any improvements.

In my opinion, it should be mandatory for drivers to have at least three one-hour sessions with a qualified driving instructor before being given a probationary licence.

Come on fellow Canberrans, take a chill pill and brush up on your road rules. Our roads will be a much safer and happier place for everyone if we all abide by the rules and give ourselves a little more time to get to our destinations. Who knows, you could even avoid an accident or serious damage.

Grumpy is an occasional column dedicated purely to things that get up your nose. Readers are invited to vent (no more than 300 words, please) at

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