Road Wars

on December 20, 2009 in Australia

My first long distance drive in Australia today, coming back from Nelson Bay ready for the Harley Tour tomorrow.

In general the roads seem quieter over here, even in the cities (so long as you avoid the rush hour gridlock) But it’s when the roads get busy that it becomes hectic.

To start with, there is no lane discipline over here because if the car is in the middle lane you can use either of the other lanes to pass, add that to the fact that an Aussie will swerve a truck into a gap that I’d be dubious about putting my Matiz into and you end up with the sort of drive that you only thought possible in video games.

There are no standard speed limits over here, so you have to constantly check the repeater signs (where they exist), urban driving varies from 50-60 km/h, other roads vary from 60-110 km/h, the only set speed is at beginning or end of the school day when every road within a certain circumference drops to 40km/h.

There are motorways, freeways and highways over here, I’m not sure what the difference is, but you seem to be able to find bus stops on any of them and even more bizarrely the hard shoulder doubles up as a cycle lane for anyone crazy enough to brave them. Considering the size of the trucks thundering past and the amount of debris that accumulates (shredded tyres, broken glass etc.) it can’t be a pleasant experience.

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