Melbourne Drivers...Nightmare
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  1. #1
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    Icon11 Melbourne Drivers...Nightmare

    I was recently in Melbourne for 4 days last wek and the driving situation was positively scary stuff.
    A cab driver told me that Sydney was nuts but some of the stuff i saw there was really quite disturbing.
    People standing in the middle of busy intersections and cars doing u turns in front of them,across tram lines also.
    Really scary right hand turns too across 2 lanes of peak hour traffic. Simply frightful.
    Am i wrong or do others feel the same? The biggest worry was right hand turns with no green arrows....

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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    People standing in the middle of busy intersections and cars doing u turns in front of them,across tram lines also.
    Probably a tram stop in the middle of the CBD.

    What's wrong with doing a U-ie across a tram line, providing you don't cut the tram off of course......

    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    Really scary right hand turns too across 2 lanes of peak hour traffic. Simply frightful.:
    A legal diamond turn in the CBD after the traffic lights have changed.....

    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    Am i wrong or do others feel the same? The biggest worry was right hand turns with no green arrows....
    I thought this was normal if a right hand turn was OK and not no RH turning. You enter the intersection on a green light, await the oncoming traffic to clear, then make your right hand turn.....

    I really can't see anything much wrong with the above scenarios, all sounds pretty much like normal Melbourne traffic to me!

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    Agree. But have you noticed that Ford and Holden drivers' indicators only work some of the time.

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    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    daniel.. when I was in melb I too found my first trip into their CBD a little confusing ie, hook turns, trams and lots of grey.... but like any big city it's has it plus side. Melb chikc's are veerrrryyy friendly to out of towners.-chris
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    1000+ Posts U Turn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    I was recently in Melbourne for 4 days last wek and the driving situation was positively scary stuff.
    A cab driver told me that Sydney was nuts but some of the stuff i saw there was really quite disturbing.
    People standing in the middle of busy intersections and cars doing u turns in front of them,across tram lines also.
    Really scary right hand turns too across 2 lanes of peak hour traffic. Simply frightful.
    Am i wrong or do others feel the same? The biggest worry was right hand turns with no green arrows....
    Down here in Adelaide we have right hand turns with no green arrows as well! Provided there is a green light for straight traffic AND there is no red arrow, turning right is allowed when oncoming vehicles are not there, or they are a safe distance away. I've lived in Sydney for 25 yrs and it's definitely the same there as well.
    Take the long way home....

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    1000+ Posts Stone Free's Avatar
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    That's the first time I have heard of an 'unsafe right hand turn'. Yes, there are times where you don't have a right turn arrow, but surely that's the same as everywhere else, right? even in the UK!!

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't there is a rule in NSW about turning left on a red light??

    Hook turns in the CBD are not for the faint of heart. I didn't do one until I had been driving for 5 years or so, taking left turns whenever possible. BUt with trams you can see how logical they are so that the tramlines aren't blocked.

    Sydney roads seem to be a fair bit narrower than down here. Am I the only one who thinks this? Don't want to invoke any of that Sydney/Melbourne rivalry thingy though.
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    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    Ive driven in Melbourne, Sydney, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, England, Italy France, and all over Europe in fact.
    I love living in Melbourne, but I reckon it's the most aggresive place bar none on the roads.
    Paris, Rome and London were a doddle compared to Melbourne (as far as aggro/speed and greatest likelihood to get killed in your car goes).
    Still, we have proper football, so there has to be a downside to living here.
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    Hooks turns were fun in Pug307's car when I borrowed it

    Shall I move this to the Toad Pond? It doesn't really relate to French cars or Aussiefrogs events, and it's starting to get off topic. Up to you guys

    Derek

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    nJm
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    Hook turns are great to watch during peak hour. You get a slow person up the front, so everyone waiting behind does a 90 degree turn where they are, rather than driving to the edge of the intersection first, so you have about 5 lanes of traffic trying to squeeze into 2 within a few seconds

    After being in the UK, Europe and China I'd have to say Melbourne has generally the most agressive drivers. Always in a hurry and very pushy. While traffic might be mad in Paris and Shanghai, there is a somewhat more relaxed feel about it, even if there is no order to it at all.
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    rek
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    BEHOLD THE HOOK TURN!

    http://www.path.unimelb.edu.au/~bern...hook_turn.html

    Cyclists: hook turns are a very safe way of turning right at busy intersections, trams or no trams. I guess, though, if you try it outside of Victoria, the people in cars probably think you're even more insane
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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    What do you mean

    Melbourne is a great place to drive, much better than the town with very little traffic I live in. Most of the cars drive safely, most drive very fast and most people are very switched on EVERYONE SPEEDS. Bloody brilliant place to drive. I remember once trying to pull out of a servo doing a Right hand turn, there was 5lanes of traffic to get across. Lights nearby turn red, suddenly there's a gab through 5lanes wide enough for me to drive through. You turn your indicator on when on packed freeways to change lanes and an empty spot appears beside you.

    I think the driving quality has plumeted in Melbourne since the speed cameras have come in, far more road rage & p!ssed off drivers, and everyone driving in a daze staring at vain at the speedo hoping like hell they don't go over the speedlimit.

    I'd drive in Melbourne anytime

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  12. #12
    XTC
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    Quote Originally Posted by rek
    BEHOLD THE HOOK TURN! Cyclists: hook turns are a very safe way of turning right at busy intersections, trams or no trams. I guess, though, if you try it outside of Victoria, the people in cars probably think you're even more insane
    On a bike they are legal in WA ... the U-turns at any set of lights was the strange on for me .. big no-no in WA.

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  13. #13
    Banned renaulturbo's Avatar
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    Rubbish

    Traffic is way worse in Sydney...at least all CBD streets in Melbourne are perpendicular.....

    And whats all this talk that traffic is tame in Europe compared to Melbourne??
    If you can drive in Europe, you can drive anywhere. You wouldnt believe the confined spaces that traffic over there has to get through...everyone tooting they're horn, double-parking, cobble stones, mopeds passing you right and left...Melbourne is childsplay ppl!!

  14. #14
    1000+ Posts U Turn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone Free
    That's the first time I have heard of an 'unsafe right hand turn'. Yes, there are times where you don't have a right turn arrow, but surely that's the same as everywhere else, right? even in the UK!!

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't there is a rule in NSW about turning left on a red light??

    Hook turns in the CBD are not for the faint of heart. I didn't do one until I had been driving for 5 years or so, taking left turns whenever possible. BUt with trams you can see how logical they are so that the tramlines aren't blocked.

    Sydney roads seem to be a fair bit narrower than down here. Am I the only one who thinks this? Don't want to invoke any of that Sydney/Melbourne rivalry thingy though.
    Stone, yep there definitely is such a thing as unsafe right hand turn. Think about it, you're waiting out in the middle of an intersection to turn right, waiting for oncoming traffic to clear. The light goes orange, still cars are coming through. The light goes red, but you can see a mack truck bearing down the oncoming lane. Mack truck should clearly not be going through the red light. Would you turn? Of course not. You would wait for the nutter to pass. Why should it matter if it wasn't a truck, but a car instead? Yes you would be sitting out in the middle of the intersection when the light goes green for traffic perpendicular to you, but so what, they've clearly seen you perched there for a while and moreover, they will have to be really crazy to accelerate from standstill and hit your car sideon. If you did however turn and get creamed by the mack truck, of course the truck nutter is in the wrong for running the red light. But could you really argue that you weren't making an unsafe right hand turn?? When there's no red or green arrow, treat the intersections as any other right turn without a traffic light.

    I think that situation is similar in principle to a near miss I had just two days ago! I was waiting to turn left out of a sidestreet, waiting for bloody ages for a gap in the traffic on the main road I was waiting to enter. Finally after about 3 or 4 minutes, a car slowed down very noticably with her left indicator on, and there was a car behind her, so I went to pull out quickly before she'd actually turned, but she suddenly changed her mind and decided to accelerate and go straight. I crapped myself and hit the brakes with 2 foot out into the main rd. Luckily she saw me too and slammed her brakes on. Thank God for ABS on most cars these days. Her's certainly worked and she stopped a bees dick away from my car..phew. Yes she was breaking the law, but so was I. Being in a hurry would have to be one of the biggest cause of accidents.
    Take the long way home....

    - 306 gti6

  15. #15
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XTC206
    ...the U-turns at any set of lights was the strange on for me .. big no-no in WA.

    - XTC206 -
    Same here in NSW - unless it is signposted that you can do so. I think there are about 2 streets with "U-turn permitted" signposts

    Of course if you are a taxi driver then the rules don't apply

    The left turn on red is also only permitted if there is a sign saying you can. In the States you can turn right at any red light unless there is a sign saying you can't.

    Personally, on my recent jaunt down to south of the border, I found Melbourne drivers to be a very docile lot (and I don't mean that in a nasty way at all) compared to my home town, Sydney. I remember being quite surprised at the lack of aggression compared to Sydney drivers.

    It just goes to show you what a funny old thing perception is.
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    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jester_fu
    Summary: Don't do it in NSW, the instant anything goes wrong, you're in the wrong.
    I got hit in the driver's door (don't worry, it was a Corolla) by a woman who took it upon herself to turn right in front of me when the light went yellow. It was like her brain snapped. I was just entering the intersection (going straight ahead), then the light when yellow. She immediately pressed the go pedal and wham.

    I was pretty ticked off about it, but naturally she was in tears and worrying about what her husband would say, and I ended up having to make sure she had enough info for the insurers.

    Needless to say I wasn't asked to pay any money for that one
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  17. #17
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    Chris you are right the chicks in melbourne are very nice indeed. A little pale skinned but still nice anyhow. I know 1 in particular-very nice.
    No but seriously these people were in big groups in the middle of the road and were not at a tram stop and cars were doing u turns in front of them. They werent supposed to be also. I can understand the hook turns and trams that didnt bother me just crazy people taking more risks i think....

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts Stone Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jastanis
    Stone, yep there definitely is such a thing as unsafe right hand turn. Think about it, you're waiting out in the middle of an intersection to turn right, waiting for oncoming traffic to clear.
    Oh yeah, now I see!! No, I always wait to see if the oncoming traffic stops before I turn right. You get the odd tool who will run the red so you can't turn right in time.

    As for driving in Melbourne, well, the traffic flows quite well, and for a city this size to be able to get from one side to the other fairly easily is a treat.

    I drove for a year in the UK and found it to be....well....strange. You have to be both very aggressive/quick and also very polite. If, for example, you are driving down a narrow street and you have cars travelling behind you and up ahead there is a car in the opposite direction trying to turn right, then it is customary to stop, flash your lights, and allow them to turn in front of you. Can be very frustrating, but you can see the drivers in the opposite direction breathing a sigh of relief as they had been stuck behind the right hand turner for yonks. Anyway, they'd do well to widen their roads over there anyway.

    Oh yes, and I LOVED their motorways (when they weren't at a standstill).
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  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger! Ralph's Avatar
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    Rek,


    That was a very good animation. It shows quite plainly how to do a hook turn. The only problem I had with it was that all the cars were using their blinkers and indicating correctly!

    Seriously, we went to Melbourne last weekend for a few days and had a great time. The best part is the public transport. For $3 each per day you can get any tram or bus within zone 1 which covers a great deal of Melbourne. We stayed at Rydges Nth. Melbourne and didn't have to drive the car at all. I don't know why you'd need a 2nd car if you lived there. I don't think I'd like to drive in the CBD, we don't have traffic like that here in Wodonga.

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  20. #20
    1000+ Posts Stone Free's Avatar
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    It's a bit scary when you see interstate drivers who aren't used to trams not stop beside a tram when the tram stops thereby nearly cleaning up passengers disembarking. I guess it is something you have to get used to. I only did it once when I first moved to Melbourne, so I can see how other people can do it.
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  21. #21
    1000+ Posts mr bern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone Free
    It's a bit scary when you see interstate drivers who aren't used to trams not stop beside a tram when the tram stops thereby nearly cleaning up passengers disembarking. I guess it is something you have to get used to. ... I can see how other people can do it.
    Don't mean to tut-tut , but part of the protocol of travelling interstate (or anywhere else, come to think of it) is making a point of finding out what the road rules are if they're different from your home rules.

    Otherwise -- don't have a problem with hook turns, though I don't need to do them all that often, and don't miss them. What really drives me nuts though is the driver turning right in front of me -- ie, in the right-turn lane -- who thinks that the absence of a green arrow means the same thing as the presence of a red arrow (when there isn't one). And the U-turn in Melbourne is anarchy on wheels, the "rules" (such as they are) for which wouldn't be understood by one driver in 20.
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  22. #22
    Fellow Frogger! Filldebin's Avatar
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    Default Melbourne and driving

    I have just been in Melbourne for the first time in about 4 and a half years and I am a little shocked at the docility of the drivers there now. I have never been so bored when driving in a city; everyone sat right on the speed limits, seemingly with good reason.
    I was told by many people to make sure that I did not speed because of the speed cameras and the police tricks. I did as I was told during the three weeks and took it easy; no more accalerate to 75kms and sit there as one could years ago, oh no, just 60 kms or even 50. However it took only a couple of days to have to do a breathalyzer test but that took only a moment and the policeman was as civil as I remeber them being, ie very civil. Needless to say I was as sober as a Morman.
    There were good freeways though and better connections.
    I see that the older pugs still commanded high prices, but for good rustfree cars I can understand that.
    Sydeney's traffic felt a little more normal in comparison though, even if it was slower than I remember it used to be.

  23. #23
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Jester, I've had the same offence. Basically you don't turn across traffic if you're going to get hit. Regardless of whether the other person ran a red or not. Pretty simple really. There's no issue in waiting in the intersection, just don't turn in front of someone.

    This would be the case in any state, not just NSW. Some might say it'd be pretty darn obvious to not turn into the path of an oncoming car...just goes to show that most road rules are pretty darn obvious.

    The oncoming car, out of courtesy, should try and stop harder on an amber if there's a car in the middle of the intersection, but there's no law saying you have to.

    As for Daniel's post, I think it's been fairly well addressed already, but here goes:

    - Hook turns - work very well, and I use it on every bike ride.
    - People standing in the middle of the road - erm... that happens in sydney too, but I imagine Tram stops add to that.
    - Turning without a green arrow? We have that in Sydney. Jude, you're right, nothing has changed since you've left.

    General comments about Melbourne drivers is that they're more timid and slower than Sydney drivers. Sydney drivers are quicker at merging and speed more. Of course, Sydney and Melbourne is Australia. There is nowhere else in Australia, is there?

  24. #24
    1000+ Posts mr bern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    Sydney drivers are quicker at merging and speed more.
    Sydney drivers only merge quicker because they're less likely to be challenged than in Melbourne , and I think that this is because in Melbourne, it's less likely that the challenger him- or herself is going to need to merge within the next 500m . Seems to have a very civilizing effect on Sydney drivers, from what I've seen ... also seems to fly in the face of the commonly-accepted wisdom that half of Sydney's drivers are ruder than average, whereas in Melbourne, roughly the same proportion are more polite than average ...
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  25. #25
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr bern
    Sydney drivers only merge quicker because they're less likely to be challenged than in Melbourne , and I think that this is because in Melbourne, it's less likely that the challenger him- or herself is going to need to merge within the next 500m . Seems to have a very civilizing effect on Sydney drivers, from what I've seen ... also seems to fly in the face of the commonly-accepted wisdom that half of Sydney's drivers are ruder than average, whereas in Melbourne, roughly the same proportion are more polite than average ...
    Challenged? What do you mean by challenged? In Sydney, if a lane ends, you merge and the car next to you lets you in. It's in the road rules, and has to happen. It happens quickly, and most people don't wave, mainly because its in the road rules now. I still wave, but it's not as common.

    But if someone throws an indicator on and wants to move across in normal traffic, you'll find that people let you in quickly and you'll get a wave.

    In Melbourne, I found people stopped and say "you go" "no, you" "no, I really insist, go ahead" "oh really"... STOP. Me, "Oh FFS, get on with it! It's really not that hard!".

    Adelaide drivers are generally very good.

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