I have driven in S.E. Asia, Europe and Central America… but without a doubt, Perth has by far the worst drivers. Let me summarise;
As a relatively “new” invention in Australia, drivers continue to use them as though they were stop signs. Drivers approach the roundabout and stop… even if nothing is coming. This completely defeats the object of a roundabout. The whole point of such an installation is that it allows the driver to see any approaching vehicles and continue on their journey, without stopping!
See that white box painted on the floor? That’s where you stop when you’re turning right at the lights… It triggers the filter light. If you stay all the way back behind the lights, how are you ever going to turn?
3. Stopping at traffic lights
Whilst we are talking about traffic lights… Why do drivers stop 10 feet back from the line? The whole point of the road marking is because it’s where you stop! Fine, if you want to leave a full car length in front of you, don’t be annoyed if I pull in front of you!
I would rather negotiate the M25 in London, than try and merge on an Australia Freeway. Seriously, let me in! If the car beside you is slightly ahead, then don’t be a jerk, back off and let them in.
Seriously, back the f*ck off. For some reason, Perth drivers think it perfectly acceptable to drive at 70kph sitting 2 foot off your bumper. And then become infuriated if you touch your breaks. Don’t bother moving over to let them pass you – they have no desire to go any faster, they just enjoy being able to see the beads of sweat forming on your forehead glinting in your rear view mirror.
Perth has to be the only place I have driven where the drivers don’t understand what it means when someone flashes their headlights. I’m letting you go, moron! And by the way, when I let you in, don’t be a douche, say thanks.
The lack of road awareness extends to cyclists also. Overweight middle aged men in Perth consider it completely normal to have a full body wax, dress head to toe in lycra, jump on to a $10,000 road bike and believe they’re the next Lance Armstrong (minus the narcotics… I presume). Don’t get me wrong, good for them – getting out there and exercising – better than sitting at home consuming irresponsible volumes of food and beer. However, that does not give you the right to take to the roads in large shiny spandex covered cycle gangs and cruise down the road 3-a-breast. For the love of god, if you must gather in your peloton of slow moving hell, please ride single file. And if their is a cycle path, it is there for a reason, so get off the road and let the mile long tailback pass you!
I have discovered, however, one pleasant element of driving in Perth. It has taken me several months, a few speeding tickets, and a couple of crashes to realise it, but the unbearably slow driving speeds are actually quite soothing. Once you accept that you will be topping out at 50kph on your drive to work, you can actually relax and enjoy the drive without the infuriation of being stuck behind a caravan, because everyone is doing the speed limit. Which is great – unless, of course, your in a hurry in which case one of the million speed cameras hidden in a bush will inevitably catch you.