The Old Flame Junior (OFJ) managed to get her driving licence a couple of weeks ago, so i guess i should count myself lucky that she has not yet heard of the following Canberra driving rules. Eventually she will, as she is driving in Canberra.
In the mean time you can all consider the following the next time you come to the National Capital
BASIC RULES FOR DRIVING IN CANBERRA
1. Turn signals will give away your next move. A real Canberra driver never uses them.
2. 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.
3. Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane change is considered "going with the flow."
4. The faster you drive through a red light, the less chance you have of getting hit.
5. Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive bodywork. The other guy doesn't have anything to lose.
6. Braking is to be done as hard and as late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving a nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it's a chance to stretch your legs.
7. Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions and apparently not enforceable in the metro area during rush hour.
8. Please remember that there is no such thing as a shortcut during rush-hour traffic in Canberra.
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 4WD drivers.
11. Learn to swerve abruptly. 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 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. Remember that the goal of every Sydney driver is to get there first, by whatever means necessary.
16. Real Canberra women drivers can put on pantyhose and apply eye makeup at 75 kph in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
17. Real Canberra men drivers can remove pantyhose and a bra at 95 kph in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
18. Heavy fog and rain are no reasons to change any of the previously listed rules. These weather conditions are God's way 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.
19. 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.
20. It's OK to cut off fully loaded semi-trailers, road trains and buses because, hell - they have brakes.
21. It is an essential duty of the driver to preserve the life of his passengers. Hence no matter how much of an inconvenience it may be, always find a detour around The Causeway, Lower Kambah, Scullin, Area's of Ainslie, Queanbeyan and Oaks Estate.
22. Always anticipate oncoming traffic while driving down a one way street.
23. It's O.K when driving in Tuggeranong's suburbs to air your grievances at bad drivers by giving the "one finger salute" while screaming out "ar#ehole". But it is imperative you are driving at least a 5 litre V8 with a crow bar in your lap.
24. 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 your flash your lights, honk your horn, use extreme hand gestures, even tailgate them, just to let them know, IT WAS YOUR LANE.
25. 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 or 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 changes lanes to make it easy for them, instead see rule 24. After all they deserve it.
26. 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, hell lets keep those people in those other lanes on their toes.
27. 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.
28. Canberra Cabs, see rule 27, except you are now qualifying for the GMC 400.
29. Pedestrian crossings - What are they?
30. 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.
Finally, remember in the A.C.T. you get 10 points for every motorcyclist that you hit.