Thursday, January 21, 2010

More on driving standards

"Transport Minister says the results show that while most drivers are well-informed about road safety, many are choosing to ignore the warnings."

Very true.

But in another of those 'it ain't only Dubai' moments, it's the Australian Federal Transport Minister talking about Aussie drivers.

I've long complained about the lack of lane discipline in Oz, drivers doing much the same things wrong as here in Dubai.

A single lane road widening into two or more lanes sees the majority of drivers immediately dashing to get into the wrong, overtaking, lane. Slow drivers sit in the overtaking lanes, on freeways and other roads.

Every person I've asked who took lessons and passed their driving test in Oz, without exception, has said that lane driving was not taught or even mentioned.

A couple of recent stories give an idea of how serious the problem is on our roads.

A survey has found Australian drivers are continuing to ignore warnings about road safety and engage in risky and illegal behaviour on the nation's roads.

Almost two thirds of respondents admitted to regularly using their mobiles while driving, twenty-five per cent of respondents felt it was acceptable to speed in some circumstances, sixteen per cent had fallen asleep at the wheel and four per cent believed they had driven while over the legal blood alcohol limit. Almost twenty five percent of drivers have been booked for speeding in the past two years,

I'm sure it's not just in Oz either, many countries have similarly dangerous drivers.

Not just dangerous but incompetent.

How's this for leaving an office block car park...

Photo. Sydney Morning Herald

The driver claims she 'lost control' of her car.

I would have thought that if you're driving sensibly and competently out of a car park it's very difficult to 'lose control' of the car.

We're right to complain about the poor driving standards here but we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking it doesn't happen elsewhere.

Survey report.
Woman freed from hanging car.


Dave said...

Seabee, with all due respect you will never convince me that driving is comparable to driving in the UAE in even the most remote way. The similarity ends once you get behind the wheel.

The mentality is completely and utterly different and the courtesy shown by the majority in oz is world standard compared to this dog-eat-dog world in Dubai.

The 'competitiveness' of street driving has been knocked out of us years ago and the only reason so many speeding tickets are issued is because of the tragic way the speed zones constantly change, sometimes a new speed zone can occur also every kilometre with other exceptions such as 'school zones' making it even more confusing.

When the Transport Minister makes these comments I am sure he is making them in an effort to maintain focus on road safety and keeping it squarely in the minds of Australian drivers.

As for lane discipline, no it was not taught to me as a former Australian driving student either, but rarely do I see too many issues with most (Qld) drivers observing the overtaking lane rules. I wish I could say the same for this place.

Seabee said...

Dave, I'm not suggesting that Dubai isn't much more dangerous, the figures prove it is. But to say you can't compare in even the most remote way is stretching a point. It's also the background for the post - the longer we're here the more we see 'home' through rose-tinted glasses.

The reality is that Oz driving is not good and is getting worse - much the same as many other countries.

The survey is proof of that - over 60% of people volunteered the information that they use their mobiles while driving for example. Nearly two in ten admitted they'd fallen asleep at the wheel.

'Can't compare in even the most remote way'???

As for competitiveness of street driving - come to Sydney in the peak hours to see comparable aggressive driving, tailgating, light flashing, driving on the hard shoulder. It's a common daily experience.

Ace said...

As far as lack of driving talent, the UAE is the top of the heap. We all remember the mach 3 Prados and choose to stay out of the extreme left lane.

What bothers me more is the guys from the sub-continent which are the majority of the drivers here anyway. The guys in the small service trucks and lorries that are oblivious to anyone else on the road. In a recent study, Pakistan had the worst drivers in the world as far as fatalities per capita.

Not only do they drive badly, they are arrogant about it in a passive-aggressive way. I don't intend on picking on a certain culture, but those are the guys that bother me the most. I can stay out of the Emirati's way easily enough.

At least they don't have guns under the seat like back in the US! That gets really scary!!!

Mohammed said...

I would be interested in your study , Ace. I do know that they comprise the majority of commercial vehicles drivers here and as such are over represented in causing accidents.
That said, most Pakistani drivers here are Pathans, and they are generally very reckless in real life as well (interpreting recklessness to be "macho", and safety-conscious people to be "cowardly")

Ace said...


I don't remember where I heard about the world, but here ya go!


Ace said...

That said, most Pakistani drivers here are Pathans, and they are generally very reckless in real life as well (interpreting recklessness to be "macho", and safety-conscious people to be "cowardly")

I don't care if they are "Pathans" or not, if they put my life in danger because of some machismo (read little dick)then they are going to get a tire iron across the face. I don't suffer shitty drivers that put me in danger!