Sure, I can park here. Why not?

Well, this thing I’m driving is about as big as a bus, so I thought I could park in the bus stop. Obviously it would have been too hard to move forward a couple of metres into the perfectly legal parking spot just ahead.

My car is as big as a bus, so I guess I can park in a bus stop

I guess I could have knocked on the window and asked if she was the 703. But I wanted to catch a real one to see if they’d fixed the zone overlap Myki bug yet.

They haven’t — see today’s Age (not onlinearticle now online). It’s the same problem I first found on day one of Myki on buses back in July, and was highlighted again in a comment from Alasdair — and for him this route is on his daily commute. Can you imagine the hassle of ringing up every day to get re-imbursed the $4.04 (two trips) incorrectly charged?

Today I was a moron

Mea culpa. Today I was a moron.

This morning I ran a red light.

No excuse, but I was just following everybody else. I didn’t see it changing until it was too late to stop.

It’s in a spot where there’s another light (which I did stop at) which is ahead of any conflicting traffic, so there was no actual danger.


View Larger Map

Still, I made a mistake, and I’ll be more careful in future.

(The guy behind me, who caught up later, could hardly criticise. He was on the phone the whole time.)

Hello, Sunday drivers

I’ve become something of a Sunday driver since I no longer generally drive anywhere on weekdays. But I’d like to think I’m better than the stereotype.

Out and about yesterday, I’m just staggered by the number of people not paying attention, or wilfully ignoring the rules, or apparently ignorant of the rules.

Ms Old Bomb — if you’re going to turn across my path, you need to give way. That doesn’t mean crawling out of the side street so I have to slow down to avoid hitting you.

Mr 4WD — pausing coming out of your driveway on North Road was a good idea. Leaving the back of your car out in oncoming traffic was not. Yes, your arse does look big in that. At least you noted my beep and moved out of the road.

Mr Mercedes — this is not a complicated rule: If you are doing a U-turn, you give way to EVERYBODY. Yes, even if you drive a Mercedes.

Mr Little White Car — you obviously didn’t notice the “Merge right” sign. That means your lane is ending. That means you merge into the lane to your right. The one I was in. You don’t just try and overtake me as your lane vanishes. I’m glad I saw you coming up behind and to the left of me. (My driving instructor Andre always taught me to keep checking my mirrors.) I’m not confident you even saw me before I beeped at you. Please don’t merge your car with mine.

Mind you, I wonder if the line markings could be modified to more clearly show the merge.
North Road, Oakleigh South
(Pic from Nearmap.com)

Mr Bogan on Monkey bike — no, the driver of the car correctly turning right on a green arrow is not the “f—ing idiot”. You are, for (a) illegally choosing to ride your stupid monkey bike on footpaths, and (b) for ignoring the red man and almost getting yourself mown down. (Why did you even press the ped button if you were going to ignore it?) Dickhead.

I suppose all you can do is keep your eyes open, give people some space, and be prepared to give way, and to use the horn when it becomes dangerous that they haven’t noticed you.

Unfortunately there’s no mechanism to transmit details of someone’s transgression (complete with photos, diagrams and a cite to the relevant road law) direct to their vehicle. Well, you can try shouting at them, but that is unlikely to do any good.

Who’s taken a defensive driving course? Are they good?

This is the law

I’ve written about this before, but just so it’s absolutely clear, I’m going to include a picture[1] with the text:

When turning left or right at any intersection (except a roundabout) you must give way to any pedestrians crossing the road you are turning into.

Give way to pedestrians when turning

– source: VicRoads: Driving in Victoria — Rules and Responsibilities, pages 35 and 39.

I’m pretty narked off that a 4WD owner[2] I encountered yesterday not only didn’t know this, but when challenged said it was not true.

I was in a hurry, and in no mood to give way to vehicles I was not obliged to, if I could possibly help it. I signalled him to stop, which he did. I then crossed in front of him, and since his window was down, told him he had to give way. When he claimed otherwise, I didn’t swear, but I did get a bit shouty, and told him to check his road rules. He drove off.

I hope he does check the laws and gets educated. It annoys me that some people are out there, driving around, ignorant of basic rules.

[1]The picture actually comes from a later section which talks about T-intersections, but appears to have been drawn to illustrate the point for other intersections as well.

[2]With a bullbar fitted. Because you really need them driving along Centre Road.

Update Sunday morning: Similar situation with a VW Golf driver yesterday afternoon.

Note that different rules apply to vehicles coming out of streets you’re crossing (peds should give way) and on roundabouts (peds should give way). On entrances/exits to private property, such as car parks and shopping centres, drivers should always give way.

Most importantly, always use your common sense — no matter what the law, if the other person is not going to stop, don’t put yourself or them in danger.

On the roads

The horrific car accident on Sunday morning that left 5 teenagers dead reminds me of some very stupid driving I saw from people on the trip down to Inverloch and back.

On the way down I saw a motorcyclist come up behind me on a stretch of single lane road. I was doing about the speed limit. He sat behind me for a few minutes. I saw a sign noting we were coming up to an overtaking lane, and thought he’d wait to overtake, but no, while we were on a curved stretch of road with double-white lines (indicating it was unsafe to overtake, don’t cross the lines), he decided to zoom past me. Only then did I see his pillion passenger on the back.

Stupid.

Driving back to Melbourne, I saw a couple of instances of people (one a zoomy sportscar, one a big truck) overtaking by using lanes marked for vehicles moving in the opposite direction to turn right.

And that was just two days after a nearby fatal crash close to Phillip Island. (In that accident, the man killed was not wearing a seatbelt.)

What can be done to stop this kind of behaviour?