My week in near misses

People who follow me on Twitter may have seen my mini-rant about the state of drivers in Darwin. Namely, they are hopeless.

I’m fairly conservative on the roads. The worst you will get from me is that I accelerate quickly from traffic lights, but I never knowingly speed. I have never had a speeding ticket, and I consider myself a pretty safe driver. It drives me absolutely crazy that if I ever have an accident, it’s likely not to be a result of my driving. I hate the rude inconsiderate drivers in Darwin – far too much testosterone on the roads.

Here is my week in near miss incidents:

Monday: Ok this isn’t a near miss; rather, I discovered a flier at the library outlining rules for children in cars. I think I have bitched about this before. Last year I’m pretty sure all the States and Territories finalised new rules for children’s restraints in cars. In most States this meant legislation to ensure children are in a car seat until they are four and a booster seat until they are eight. The Northern Territory version of these rules: Children now have to be in a car seat until they are one. That’s it. It begs the question – what were the requirements before the new legislation last year? No car seat? Probably.

Tuesday: I was waiting in a normal lane, with someone to my right in the turning lane. Cue green traffic light – the turning lane car goes straight ahead alongside me, instead of turning as per his lane directions, and misses Harrie’s door by millimetres. Doesn’t move when I beep the horn – seems he may have a hearing impairment. (I am serious about that. I actually did a U-turn at a roundabout as that had been my intention all along, and pulled up next to him, so I started to beep the horn and waving at him and he didn’t hear me despite being right next door).

Wednesday: I parked at the Post Office for less than 10 minutes. When I came back out a ute (pickup to Americans) was parked next to me so closely that I couldn’t even walk between his car and my car to get to my door. Unfortunately, Harrie’s car seat is also on that side. I wrote a note to the driver giving him a lecture on manners. With my very special pink pen (I hope the femininity of the pen made his eyes bleed).

Thursday: I was driving along a main road out of town when I was almost driven off the road into the kerb. This road features numerous ‘zip merge lanes‘ – where two lanes go to one, with neither of the lanes actually ending – the lines just stop. So it’s the nature of the Territorian to speed up as much as possible to pass every car they can before the zipper lane ends, even if this means driving other people into the oncoming lane. Yes, seriously. There have been accidents.

Friday: After dropping the Mr off at work, I indicated and pulled back onto the road. A car decided at the same time to turn from another road, and barely missed me. I’m pretty sure I had right of way as I was already on the road I was merging back into, and this guy was crossing numerous lanes to turn into my road…?? I’m happy to be corrected.



6 thoughts on “My week in near misses

  1. Tell me about it! Darwin drivers are the worst. Then you get the people who drive well under the speed limit causing impatient drivers to drive like maniacs to get around them. The drivers who treat red lights as a guide. I agree that people disobeying the turning lanes is rather bad up here but the parking! Oh the parking! I returned to my car at the grocery store in town during the week to find a police car parked diagonally in a normal park. The rear of the vehicle was crossed over the white line behind my car and the front wing mirror was millimetres from mine. Not only could I not get in my car, even if I could, I highly doubt I’d be able to reverse out. Now your thinking it was probably an emergency of some sort. No. The Officers were still around the car discussing their lunch options. So I asked the driver if it was possible for him to move his vehicle as I had no hope of getting in, his response? “Climb over the passenger seat love”. Naturally I protested and the driver became somewhat agitated and rude (yes, a police officer!) when finally the passenger said, “Actually, could you move? I can’t get out either”. I wanted to say “climb over”, but my instincts thought better of it!
    I think it all comes down to a lack of respect for other people. People push in front, make nasty comments etc in Darwin far more than I’ve experienced anywhere else. Is it the transience? I don’t know but it’s not fun.

    1. OH YES! The red lights as a ‘guide’. On any given day I will see at least 2 or 3 red light runners – and not even ‘did they or didn’t they’ – but blatant running. After that horrible accident on Tiger Brennan last year, I now always check if I’m up the front and driving through an intersection.

      Personally I think it’s the high ratio of young men here – army, mining etc – they are traditionally the worst segment of drivers, and the fact that population group is over-represented here means that they are also over-represented on the roads as well…. It’s horrible.

      I had to laugh at your police car story. Hopeless!

    2. Oh and as to the lack of respect for others, I also agree with this. This translates into loud parties, fireworks at 3am, rubbish all around our apartment building, neighbours smoking outside MY front door! Sometimes I see the quintessential Territory, but these days there are lots of bad mannered people who claim it’s all part of being ‘Territorian’. It’s not. It’s just rudeness.

    1. The taxi drivers we had in Canberra were pretty bad.. And apparently pedestrian crossings are just for show in our nation’s capital – so many drivers that nearly drove straight through us..

  2. Don’t you sometimes just wish that you were in The Jetsons and could fly above them all. I went to my local shopping centre on Saturday afternoon and thought I had stumbled upon a GP race. So glad I didn’t have the kids with me. Drives me insane that people don’t realise that their speeding in a shopping centre could have serious consequences. I once actually complained at the centre management office and ended up crying (and getting a card for a complimentary coffee).
    I hope your future journeys are hassle free!

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