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Driving In Australia, Survival Tips #2

dsc02900-1.JPGHello folks! It’s that time again! How to Survive while Driving in Australia! I’m putting together a multi-part guide to conditions and issues you need to be aware of while driving in Oz…. If anyone can explain the Melbournian J-turn in the comments section, it would be greatly appreciated. The take home message from today’s blog- READ the SIGNS!!!!!! Road Signs, Oh boy where to start.
Street Name Signs, Just because you are at an intersection, do not assume there will be street name signs to tell you what both roads are called. Occasionally there will be a street name for one of the roads, but not the other. Occasionally there will be no name signs at all. This can be a tad bit frustrating when trying to navigate and you are not sure what road you just ended up on by accident at that last round-a-bout.
No Turn Signs Just because you see a HUGE No Right Turn sign does not actually mean you can’t turn right there. You have to look underneath the Big Sign to the little sign that is printed in 12 font, while you are driving 40 km/h which qualifies what they mean. It might mean that trucks over 3 tonnes can’t turn there, or you can’t turn from 8:30 am to 10:15 am Monday through Friday, or only busses are allowed to turn there.
Clearway Signs This concept drives me CRAZY! OK- imagine if you will- a MAJOR road in your town. A Main thoroughfare. Now imagine people being allowed to park in the outside lane…randomly. You are driving along… and wham… parked car. No Warning. This concept makes people learn to swerve while driving. (Yesterday I about blew my lid when I saw a BUS swerving around a parked car! What is this world coming to?!) Again- the Australian RTA can’t figure out why there are so many wrecks…maybe because there are PARKED CARS on the Highway!!!?????? Anyway- back to the Clearway Signs. SOMETIMES it is OK to park on MAIN ARTERIAL ROADS, and sometimes it is not. These friendly little signs, and I do mean physically little, have a picture of a tow truck on them and the times (printed in 12 font) stating at which hours it is prohibited to park in an otherwise perfectly functioning lane of a road. Do yourself a favour and almost NEVER drive in the outside lane. It will either end with no warning, or there will be a random parked car. I’d LOVE to hear back from any of you who have experienced this bizarre phenomenon.

No Parking Signs/No Stopping Signs/2P Signs, etc Similar to the no turning signs, this may or may not mean you can park there. You have to read the qualifiers. a 2P sign means you can park there for 2 hours. Make SURE you READ – sometimes you need to pay for parking, other times you do not. No Stopping means- even though these signs are placed in the ABSOLUTE PERFECT place to slow down and let some one hop out of your car- near a ferry or train station, the sign means “don’t even think about slowing down let alone parking here.” Strangely enough the parking fine for parking in a no stopping zone is less than for parking in a no parking zone or over staying your 2 hours….hmmmmmm.
Rear to Kerb Parking OK, this is another fun one. In the rare actual designated and marked areas to park, many times the sign will tell you to park with the Rear of the car to the Kerb. (That is spelled correctly) So- you have to drive past the spot, and then reverse into on coming traffic in order to park. I still blame this one on the fact that they were convicts and needed to be able to make a fast get-away. He He He…sorry you fair dinkum Aussies- but can you explain it?
Guide #1