Hi CTzens, this is my first blog - I hope you enjoy.
I currently live in Australia and as a carguy, there are several things that really grind my gears about driving in this country. Maybe you can relate to some of these, agree or disagree, please write your thoughts in the comments.
1. Road Rage / Terrible Drivers
I live in Sydney and, to be honest, like most major cities in the world, road rage is a serious problem. I feel road rage and bad driving really go hand in hand, as an inability to drive can really get under people’s nerves. The procedure to get your full licence in Australia (NSW specifically) is quite excruciating yet somehow we churn out some of the worst drivers I have ever seen. If you want to see some awfully terrifying, yet very humorous Australian driving log on to Facebook and go to Dashcams Australia.
A secondary issue to this, and please don’t call me a racist (because this is a legitimate point!) are the influx of mostly Asian people coming to Australia with a lack of understanding of the roads here. Australia has its own laws (unwritten ones too) and these need to be understood before driving a car - perhaps there should be some sort of testing before tourists and such are allowed to drive rental cars - not just a quick glance at the international drivers licence!
So then, you want to get away from the city, the bad drivers and the road rage. You might be thinking along these lines, but this brings me perfectly on to my next point.
2. The Road Quality…
…IS SHOCKING! Honestly, it is getting better, slowly, but the majority of roads are quite terrible, with bumps and potholes everywhere. The city is renowned for this, and those with low cars really experience it properly. I was in a friend’s Porsche GT3 a few weeks ago and the amount of small steering adjustments we made to just avoid the bad bits was quite ridiculous. The highways are getting better these days but c’mon, it’s 2016, we should be able to smooth asphalt by now!
3. The Five-O
Alright, you’ve found a nice piece of highway or twisty road that has a smooth surface and want to have your turn in some spirited driving. POWEERRRRR, you hear your inner Clarkson shout at you. And within seconds your above the speed limit and within seconds after that the police are behind you. Now, I’m definitely not saying that I condone speeding and I am a fkdapolice kind of guy, but the amount of effort and money the police put in to catching people is quite frightening. New speed radars were brought in a year or two ago that can measure speed from 700 metres away. I definitely agree with speed limits / school zones and the police enforcing this but we, the car guys and gals of this world, can’t seem to catch a break. Not only are the police hiding in bushes with their radar guns and booklets ready, their attitude they get out of bed with in the morning leaves something to be desired. Luckily for me, I have had mostly genuine and pleasant police dealings, but several friends of mine, and those who have shared their stories on this little thing called the internet, have not had such good experiences.
4. Speed Limits
Yes, yes. We can’t all have German Autobahns. However, since speed limits on the highways were first enforced, the limits have only continued to drop - 10km/h every couple of years, yet the standard of the automobile, obviously, has increased significantly throughout this time. The maximum speed most Aussies legally can experience on a public road is 110km/h, although there are some areas in remote places where it reaches 130km/h. We do have an unrestricted area in Australia’s centre, but getting there is a very long drive and definitely not worth it unless you were planning on travelling right across Aus.
Australia is essentially the size of Europe. Our maximum speed is 110km/h. Put those together, and unless you’re pumping out some seriously long days (12 / 14 hours), progress is minimal. This is coming from someone who has driven from Sydney to Cairns and back several times, basically the entirety of the East Coast in a matter of days.
5. The Car Culture
Australia has a big following of Jap-cars - people who follow Mighty Car Mods, but the same cannot really be said for fans of the more expensive luxury cars of this world. I know a lot of people can be jealous of nice cars and there is a lot of keying and abuse towards the nicer cars of Sydney. I look in envy at events like Cars&Coffee Italy or the Gumball rally as there is simply nothing like it here. We have a Cars&Coffee event but pretty much anyone can enter which means, obviously, there are still a few Lamborghinis and Ferarris, but there are also massive amounts of pretty much stock, cheap Hondas and Mazdas alike. Ridiculous! .. Being a car spotter in Sydney is pretty much impossible!
Thanks for reading my first blog post. I know some of these points are controversial and as always, for every remark, there is an opposite argument to be made. Fellow Aussie drivers, do you agree with any of this?
Have a wonderful day peeps, I’m going to get back to following the Gumball rally and think about doing some uni work later on. Chao!