A recent provocative article in Car Advice describes the frustration of sitting behind drivers who hog the fast lane, even at slow speeds. According to the police, lane hogging is one of the main gripes of motorists. Nobody likes it.
It’s official – people hate commuting. Commuting is linked with a higher risk of obesity, divorce, neck pain, stress, worry, and insomnia. It also makes us eat more junk food and exercise less. For people who have long commutes – more than 45 minutes one way – it is even worse.
All over the world people have had original, sometimes quirky, ideas about how to slow us down on the roads. England uses smileys, France creates cardboard cut-outs to represent fatalities, India is trialling virtual speed bumps.
There’s a new word for people using smart phones without looking up to see where they’re going – smombies.
The Germans coined the word to combine “smart phone” and “zombie”. One enterprising German city in Bavaria has introduced in-ground traffic lights so texters don’t even have to look up.
New South Wales has the most expensive CTP insurance in Australia but, during 2014-15, South Australia had the highest average traffic fine of $410. A report by Australia Institute claims traffic fines hit low income earners too hard and proposes Australia adopt the Finnish method of basing fines on income.
You didn’t imagine this – it is taking longer for you to drive to work. Sydney’s roads are becoming more and more congested, peak hour is stretching out, and upgrading roads only makes a short-term difference.
Wonky walkers are a familiar sight – somebody walking across the road while stabbing at their mobile phone. Who has not felt frustrated with the pedestrian who is so captivated they don’t look where they are going?
The fact is more pedestrians died on NSW roads in 2015 than 2014. There were 61 fatalities in 2015, compared to 41 in 2014 – 17.5% of all deaths on the road. Sadly, 17-25 year olds have the second highest risk of death as pedestrians (after older pedestrians, 75 years and over).
Nearly 350 people died on the roads in NSW last year, according to preliminary 2015 road toll figures from Centre of Road Safety.
Drinking and driving
- The number of drivers affected by alcohol in a fatal crash fell 22%, compared to the 2012-14 average.
Regular drivers to the Sydney CBD are being forced to slow down. From April this year, 40kmh speed limits will apply across a larger zone.
Many people in the CBD are on foot and some take unncessary risks when crossing the roads. In the past 10 years, 12 have died and more than 1,400 have been injured. (In fact, pedestrian deaths saw the highest increase in all of NSW, up 48.7%, from 41 deaths in 2014 to 61 in 2015.)
It’s not news that anyone wants to hear, but there has recently been a sharp rise in the New South Wales road toll, with 15 people killed over the course of two short weeks.
“With warmer weather across NSW, it seems some drivers are taking good driving conditions for granted, which is costing lives on our roads,” John Hartley, assistant commissioner of NSW’s Traffic and Highway Patrol Command told the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).