Basic rules for driving in Canberra


Despite the well-planned and immaculately maintained roads in the city of Canberra, drivers of this city are still considered the worst in Australia. A police inspection of some cars driven by less than reputable drivers have uncovered what appears to be a banned "black market" manual on how to drive in Canberra. The following is supposedly an excerpt from this manual.

However, we recommend that no one should drive like this if you truly value your life and the lives of others:

  1. Remember that the goal of every Canberra driver is to get there first, by whatever means necessary.
  2. Turn signals will give away your next move. A real Canberra driver never uses them.
  3. Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, or somebody else will fill in that space, putting you in an even more dangerous situation.
  4. Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane change is considered "going with the flow."
  5. The faster you drive through a red light, the less chance you have of getting hit.
  6. Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive bodywork. The other guy doesn't have anything to lose.
  7. Braking is to be done as hard and as late as possible to ensure that your Automatic Braking System (ABS) kicks in, giving a nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS (just think of what you're missing!), it's a chance to stretch your legs.
  8. Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions and apparently not enforceable in the metro area during rush hour.
  9. Always slow down and rubber-neck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tyre.
  10. Everybody thinks their vehicle is better than yours, especially Volvo and 4WD drivers.
  11. Learn to swerve abruptly with extraordinary regularity. Canberra is the home of High-Speed Slalom Driving thanks to the Urban services, which puts potholes in key locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them on their toes, not forgetting the "Test your skill" chicanes in various suburbs.
  12. It is traditional in Canberra to honk your horn at cars that don't move the instant the light changes.
  13. Seeking eye contact with another driver revokes your right of way.
  14. Never take a green light at face value. Always look right and left before proceeding.
  15. Real Canberra women drivers can put on their pantyhose and apply eye makeup at 75 kph in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
  16. Canberra male drivers can be made to suddenly stop, usually thanks to the presence of a street lamp or another car, if Canberra women drivers remove their bra and everything else from the waist up while driving.
  17. Heavy fog and rain are no reasons to change any of the previously listed rules. These weather conditions are God's way of ensuring a natural selection process for body shops, junkyards, and new vehicle sales. It is an acceptable practise to increase your speed in comparison to the rate of rain fall, ie: the harder it rains, the faster you go.
  18. There is a commonly held belief in Canberra that highspeed tailgating in heavy traffic reduces petrol consumption as you get sucked along in the slipstream of the car in front.
  19. It's OK to cut off fully loaded semi-trailers, road trains and buses because, hell - they have brakes too!
  20. Always anticipate oncoming traffic while driving down a one way street.
  21. It's 0.K when driving in Tuggeranong's suburbs of southern Canberra to air your grievances at bad drivers by giving the famous "one finger salute" while screaming out "@r$e#()/e" . But it is imperative you are driving at least a 5 litre V8 with a crow bar in your lap.
  22. Canberra drivers are experts at merging. When in two or more lanes travelling in the same direction, ensure that if you see someone politely indicating, waiting slowly trying to merge into your lane, show them that they must "Wait their turn" to use your lane. Speed up, try to cut them off, should they succeed and get into your lane never mind that it was actually legal for them to do that, ensure that you flash your lights, honk your horn, use extreme hand gestures, even tailgate them, just to let them know, IT WAS YOUR LANE.
  23. Ensure that when merging into traffic travelling at any more than 40kph that you stop in the merging lane, backing up traffic for miles behind you, ensuring that you have given yourself and no-one else that opportunity to merge. Again forget that the traffic hand book states that you should speed up to meet traffic speed then merge. If you are travelling in a lane near a merge lane, don't change lanes to make it easy for them, instead see rule 22. After all they deserve it.
  24. While using Canberra roundabouts, particularly two lane roundabouts, ENSURE that you are in the left lane to turn right, or the right to turn left as this keeps the people in those other lanes on their toes.
  25. If you are an Action bus driver, you must win at all costs, getting to your destination prior to any other driver is life and death. Never worry about your passengers bouncing round in the back like tennis balls, hell it's a cheap form of theme park, in fact Canberra's very own.
  26. Pedestrian crossings - What are they?
  27. If you are a cyclist, remember YOU ARE INVINCIBLE, you are stronger than ANY vehicle travelling at speed, MAKE SURE you take the whole lane for yourself, and at night NEVER use lights, remember "They Will See You".

And we can only wonder why Canberra has so many bad drivers!