Our city is known for many things: breeding great athletes, a growing arts scene and producing delicious food and wine.
We are also getting a reputation for having some of the state’s worst drivers.
We know you’ve noticed because we’ve read the hundreds of comments and letters you’ve posted and submitted to the Central Western Daily on this very subject.
There would be few motorists in Orange who haven’t honked their horn, thrown their hands up in frustration or swerved to miss idiotic driving.
In a some very sad way, we’ve all become accustomed to it. Driving to work or to do the shopping often turns into a game of Mario Kart, with the expert ducking and weaving required to avoid other vehicles.
And the worst offenders hover at roundabouts, where it’s like all we have ever learned about road rules or common decency go out the window.
It’s astounding at just how many people either disregard the rules or are unaware on how to approach a roundabout. And for a city with so many of them, it’s a dangerous game to be playing.
We all know the most common infractions, but it’s worth listing them regardless, even if only to clue in those who are unaware they have been breaking the law.
- The speed limit in town is, almost without exception, 50km/h. This does not mean you should approach and travel through a roundabout at 50km/h. Hit the anchors.
- You don’t need two lanes to go through a roundabout. Please slow down and turn the steering wheel more if you can’t keep your car in a single lane.
- Blinkers are operated by the sticks jutting out from near your steering wheel. Find them and use them. And those who do attempt to flick on a blinker in the hopes of proving they know what they are doing shouldn’t undo that hard work by using blinkers incorrectly.
To summarise: Slow down. Stay in your lane. Use your blinkers.
Many drivers may not know the rules of the road as well as they should. Laws have changed or been removed, others have come in in their place.
Older drivers may think their experience is a substitute for knowledge, younger ones might believe their reflexes make them bulletproof. Neither notion is correct.
There is no shame in admitting you need to brush up on road rules. In fact, it should be actively encouraged.