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'Courtesy messages' to promote better driving


Christopher Knaus

Rage no longer ... Canberra drivers will be encouraged to behave themselves on the road by NRMA's "courtesy messages".

Rage no longer ... Canberra drivers will be encouraged to behave themselves on the road by NRMA's "courtesy messages". Photo: Shannon Morris

Canberra drivers are worse at tailgating, hogging the right hand lane, and failing to let other cars merge than their NSW counterparts, the NRMA says.

The motoring group today launched a new campaign across NSW and the ACT to address road rage and discourteous driving.

The campaign will feature electronic roadside signs broadcasting positive 'courtesy messages' across Canberra, in an attempt to promote better driving habits.

And members of the public are invited to come up with their own courtesy messages, which could be broadcast on the electronic road signs.

A survey, which included 1500 motorists across NSW and the ACT, found 84 per cent of Canberrans experienced tailgating.

Canberrans also listed not allowing a car to merge, and slow drivers hogging the right hand lane as major sources of frustration on the road.

Those niggling frustrations can spiral out of control and escalate into a dangerous situations, Mr Evans said.

NRMA regional director Alan Evans said the data suggested that Canberrans were worse road rage offenders than their cross-border counterparts.

"We tailgate more, we tend to hog the right hand lane a bit more, and we make sure that we don't let other people in," Mr Evans said.

Mr Evans said Canberran drivers had a poor reputation.

"We've got to improve the reputation," he said.

"We're pretty smart, pretty intelligent in Canberra, let's show that we can apply the lessons... and be the most courteous drivers in the country.

"Take life easy, relax, make sure that you're relaxed when you drive, and others will be as well."


  • what a load of codswallop!! Being a frequent traveller (in my car) to both rural and metropolitan NSW from Canberra I find this to be complete tripe. I find absolutely no difference in the behaviour of drivers. Peak traffic in Sydney illicits just as many inappropriate driving behaviours as peak traffic in Canberra. In my experience, it tends to be the road conditions rather than the location of the driver that is the key determinant of behaviour.

    Date and time
    April 27, 2012, 3:20PM
    • Agree. I'm originally from Brisbane but been living in Canberra for 2yrs now. and have spent a lot of time driving in Sydney aswell.
      I reckon Sydney is worse than Canberra. I HATE driving in Sydney.
      Driving in Canberra is fine. what do ACT driviers have to be frustrated about? (compared to other cities of course)

      Canberra & sometimes Brisbane
      Date and time
      April 27, 2012, 3:58PM
  • I hope the campaign includes more than just courteousy messages

    DJ Postmaster
    Date and time
    April 27, 2012, 3:28PM
    • After extensive travel around the country I have noticed distinct traits for the major cities. In Sydney everyone is in a hurry and obsessed with fairness. If you try to push in or you slow others down you will be a target, In Sydney tailgating isn't anything personal, it's just what you do to keep awake on the drive to work. In Melbourne there is less traffic than Sydney but the drivers just couldn't care less about how their driving affects others around them so it feels much worse. Brisbane drivers are the most aggressive and abusive I have ever seen. Adelaide drivers don't seem to have noticed that there are any other cars on the road and in Perth it appears to be a local sport to see how long you can stay in the right hand lane at 15 under the speed limit.

      Maybe it is because Canberra is a 'melting pot' of drivers from every city in Australia that we see all the bad traits from everywhere else displayed here.

      Whatever it is one thing is for sure, driving in Canberra is not a pleasant experience.

      Date and time
      April 27, 2012, 3:35PM
      • I agree with the "codswallop" statement and the melting pot assessment.

        My greatest frustration in this town is that people are afraid to merge. I am now so conditioned to this fear that a recent visit to Brisbane, where people merged safely and at the appropriate speed, was a breath taking surprise.

        Canberra is an easy and lazy place to drive.

        Outraged of Palmerston
        Date and time
        April 27, 2012, 4:10PM
        • I think it depends what time of the day it is. Outside of peak periods there isn't anyone on the road to be abused by..

          Date and time
          April 27, 2012, 4:20PM
          • It's going to take more than signs to help, around town its like a competition to see how long you can sit in the right hand lane no matter how slow your going. Indicators are a mere feature in a car don't worry about using those, tail gating seems to be a sport and cutting people off a past time.

            Date and time
            April 27, 2012, 5:28PM
            • The NRMA should concentrate on reducing their exhorbitant premiums and allowing fair competition in the territory rather than paying lip service to the complaints of a few whingers.

              Date and time
              April 27, 2012, 5:51PM
              • Mr Evans is quite correct in categorising the Canberran driver as having a poor reputation. Having lived and worked around Australia and for that matter overseas I've never seen anything like it when I returned home.

                I think its part of the culture here and look out if you offend anyone's space on the road or get in their way. My observation is we Canberran's have got very short fuses if some act of discourtesy on the road offends us which then quickly escalates into road rage which can cause accidents.

                However it is not only limited to drivers - pedestrians particularly in the city and cyclists can be equally difficult for the drive to contend with.

                Date and time
                April 27, 2012, 6:04PM
                • Does having to drive in the right lane (at the speed limit) in an 80km zone because drivers rarely let you move right for your right hand turn a couple of km's away, constitute "hogging the right hand lane"? The tailgaters that sit on my tail sure think so!

                  Speed limited
                  Date and time
                  April 27, 2012, 6:28PM

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