cycling safety in paris, italy and australia - observations

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Re: cycling safety in paris, italy and australia - observati

Postby arkle » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:33 pm

Strawburger wrote:My take on Europe vs Australia is this:

Europeans are more accustomed to living in close proximity to each other. They learn to share the spaces they live in from a very early age, including the roads. They understand the bigger picture and are less self centred.


Yes, in fact in the UK there is an entire "language of cooperation" between most road users. There's the single or double flash (usually indicating that you're giving way to someone or saying thank you to them for letting you in), the left/right/left indicator cycle (to say thank you that someone let you change lanes in front of them), the "dip flash" where you say thank you to someone at night without blinding them by flashing down to dips instead of up to full beam, and in some areas it is still common to single or double flash as a courtesy prior to overtaking on a country road (this lets the driver ahead know that you're about to overtake them and allows them to be ready to slow down if an oncoming car appears).

This language of cooperation is almost entirely absent in Australia, though it would be a useless language to have anyway, when no one is cooperating.

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by BNA » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:29 pm

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Re: cycling safety in paris, italy and australia - observati

Postby human909 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:29 pm

arkle wrote:This language of cooperation is almost entirely absent in Australia, though it would be a useless language to have anyway, when no one is cooperating.


What are you talking about? Australia has a host of road language of 'cooperation'.

The Tailgate = You going effin too slow mate!
The Rev&GlanceAcross = I'm going first!
The Horn = I don't like what your are doing!
The CloseTheGap = You are welcome to merge safely anywhere but in front of me!
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Re: cycling safety in paris, italy and australia - observati

Postby CrashBoomBang » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:28 pm

I am not a huge fan of the L-Plater/P-Plater system in order to obtain a driver's license and believe that traffic education in Australia is part of the problem. Quite frankly, if dad turns into a douchebag once he enters a car and teaches junior driving, guess what junior is going to be in a car... All countries discussed above have mandatory driving school and even though it is very expensive and a pain to go through (had to do it myself in Germany when I turned 18) they teach more than just road rules and how to operate a car. Defensive driving and respect for other road users were taught equally.
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Re: cycling safety in paris, italy and australia - observati

Postby arkle » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:55 am

human909 wrote:
arkle wrote:This language of cooperation is almost entirely absent in Australia, though it would be a useless language to have anyway, when no one is cooperating.


What are you talking about? Australia has a host of road language of 'cooperation'.

The Tailgate = You going effin too slow mate!
The Rev&GlanceAcross = I'm going first!
The Horn = I don't like what your are doing!
The CloseTheGap = You are welcome to merge safely anywhere but in front of me!


There's more from the UK.

If you're coming down a slip road to join a motorway any cars in the left lane will almost always attempt to move into the middle lane in good time to let you merge. They'll flash their lights to say, "I'm letting you in!" Cars already in the middle lane will often preempt this move and actively attempt to change into the fast lane so that the car in the left lane can move out to let the car on the slip road join safely. They'll flash their lights to say, "I'm letting you out so you can let him in!" My observation here in Australia is that most cars sit stubbornly in the left lane so that the car coming down the slip road has to slow down and give way, even though the other lanes are empty.

It's normal in the UK to start indicating that you're intending to leave a motorway as you pass the 300 yard marker. My observation here in Australia is that most cars will not start indicating until their front wheels are already crossing the broken white line. Same as when changing lanes.

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Re: cycling safety in paris, italy and australia - observati

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:51 pm

arkle wrote:My observation here in South Australia is that most cars sit stubbornly in the left lane...

arkle

Edit for clarity :wink:
In Vic, the left lane is the de facto fast lane as the right is chock full of pace cars doing 15% under reasonable pace until <100m from their exit whereupon they'll close their eyes, take a deep breath and reef the wheel hard left. Sometimes, they'll even be so kind as to extend one finger towards ther stalk as they reef at said wheel. They call this "indicating" :(
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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