good manners on the road.

Submitted: Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 21:47
ThreadID: 96643 Views:2381 Replies:11 FollowUps:15
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Sal and I just did a quick trip up to Toowoomba and back to pick up a vehicle. One thing that impressed me going up the newel highway thru the Pillga, was trucks warning following cars of oncoming cars by giving a left blink.
What a good idea, a lot of theses trucks are very hard to see around and you have to put your nose out to have a look.
It would be wonderfull if all drivers towing large vehicles would take this up. I ran it by a policeman last night and he had not heard of it but through it was a good idea as long as people dont get confused.
Cheers Pete
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Reply By: PJR (NSW) - Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 22:05

Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 22:05
It's been around for years but seldom used these days.

Must have been a young cop. Maybe a later generation who know nothing about Oz. Like the two twits onMillion Hot seat tonight. They did not know the emu plume in the hat belonged to the Light Horse.

Yes It would be good to see it used again.
AnswerID: 489989

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 06:40

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 06:40
Yes you are right, he is my young fishing mate. BUT I am 60 and have never seen it used before.
Cheers pete
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Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 07:35

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 07:35
It wasn't a regular thing but I used to see it back before the 80's on the Hume. I was a regular Sydney to Melbourne traveller.

Definitely not in recent times though.
FollowupID: 765179

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 22:53

Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 22:53
G'day Pete,

Strangely I was just discussing this with my workmate at dinner tonight.
I drive the Newell Melbourne to Brisbane & the Western Hwy, Melbourne to Adelaide many times each year & the standard of driving on the Newell far exceeds that of the Western Hwy.

I drove to Adelaide on the Western Hwy from Melb last weekend & as usual found some of the car & truck drivers road manners atrocious. I must say I rarely find the same lack of road manners when driving the Newell. Like you I find the Truckies very accommodating when overtaking on my way to Brisbane.

AnswerID: 489993

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 06:45

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 06:45
Stu, I hope some of the caravaners also take up this practice as well. interesting one truckie seem to know even when I was thinking of overtaking. I found distances of vehicles coming towards me a little hard to calculate on the newell, or I am getting old.
Chewers Pete
FollowupID: 765175

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 23:20

Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 23:20
I drive a naturally aspirated Troopy.
Never get to overtake anyone! LOL


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AnswerID: 489996

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 06:49

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 06:49
Mate I had the pleasure of hiring a canary yellow SV 6 , that thing made overtaking a breeze. Although the Jack I brought back was no slouch either. The SV6 also only used $110 of fuel for 900ks.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 765176

Reply By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 23:31

Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 23:31
Hi, THe cook is from Sweden & this is a common thing. Translated to Aust a left blink shows the road clear ahead. Not left on too long as that means a left turn. Trouble is that I have seen right blink used to show that it is clear to pass & been abused for not passing when for all I knew he was turning right.
If left blink used Swedish drivers say thank you with left, right, left, blink. Might be useful here to promote more courtesy on the roads. Bill
AnswerID: 489997

Follow Up By: escapesilv - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 05:54

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 05:54
Hi Bill

The same thank you response you get in Oz. when we travel we always use it as well as a high blink to let drivers know they have fully overtaken you and it is safe for them to return to the left lane if they wish.

Small things can make driving safer and more pleasurable.


FollowupID: 765173

Reply By: Member - Ups and Downs - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 07:45

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 07:45
Yonks ago it was the right blinker 2 times to indicate it was safe to pass.

I remember it well as it always seemed to me that the left should have been flashed, as in "I'm pulling over so pass me".

AnswerID: 490007

Reply By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 07:47

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 07:47
I am not sure where this happened. I have a feeling it was on the Hume (of all places) and finished at Gundagai. Like Pete said - getting a little older.

A car started following us after we had slowly overtaken it and nodded my head as we went by as our eyes met. Not planned - it just happened. It stuck behind about 8 car lengths back and when he turned off at a service station he gave a wave and a couple of short flashes of the headlights after I waved with the blinkers as he was slowing down. Just to see if he was running with us. He was actually travelling WITH us. Excellent.
AnswerID: 490008

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 13:03

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 13:03
Had a similar thing coming back to Bathurst from Cooma once. Caught up to a truck, and because I was towing a boat decided to just sit behind him. followed him from just out of Cooma till a decent hill before Mandurama. When we went a rround him he waved and flashed his lights and we returned the wave. Felt a bit like saying goodbye to and old mate. lol
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 765211

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 13:45

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 13:45
Just like the bloke on a bike who slipped in behind us one night between Goulburn and Marulan. It was about 1AM in July with light fog and almost sub zero. He was almost frozen and got in the cars "shadow" He stopped at Marulan at the old Truckstop 31" and had a cuppa with us. Or should I say he had one near the fire. If I had a ute then I would have offered to put the bike in and he could hop in with us. They told me he got a lift with a truckie. Poor bugger was frozen. He actually peeled his hands ff the bike and walked inside with a stoop.

Friendly travellers. A part of our country heritage.

FollowupID: 765215

Reply By: GT Campers - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 09:17

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 09:17
This courtesy can be nice but it is also a legal and moral minefield.
I remember just the other side of Tamwroth, heading North with a mate, a track carrying half a house at about 30-40km/h flicked his indicators just before the crest of a hill. Driver's arm came out the window, finger pointed, and I made eye contact with him in the mirror, you bewdy, I thought, he can see ahead and I can pass...


I will never forget he whites of the eyes of the car (a 1970s Toyota Crown) coming the other way as I squeezed between him and the truck mid-overtake

The truck was turning right

That was 20 years ago and one of the biggest lessons of my life

AnswerID: 490019

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 09:55

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 09:55
Have to agree with you, GT - the possibilities of confusion and misunderstanding are very real.

I thought (could be wrong tho) that many years ago it was decreed illegal to use indicators for any purpose other than to signal a turn (by the vehicle doing the signalling) for just that reason. As this thread already demonstrates some people think a left flash is a good idea in a given situation, while others think a right flash would convey the same message. Surely a recipe for disaster.


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 22:07

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 22:07
I wonder about this one.

I prefer to wait until I can see. There are legal and insurance dfficulties with it. Who pays for my life long full time care if I prang?

If it happens, I wait and wave to the driver with the indicators to say thanks. Or thank him on the radio.

I also will not wave others through for the same reason.

Don't take me wrong. It's good to help others and be friendly but there are risks that must be understood before blindly accepting that help.
FollowupID: 765274

Reply By: GT Campers - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 10:35

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 10:35
Yep since then - and encouraged by a few police mates etc - I take 100 percent responsibiity for my own overtaking/cornering/merging etc 100 percent of the time I NEVER rely on indicators, hand waves, radio contact (for instance when in convoy) or a passenger saying 'yeah, nothing coming'....
AnswerID: 490031

Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 10:59

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 10:59
GT and Val
I absolutely agree. The chance of a stuff up is too horrendous to contemplate.
The only time I use any lights in this manner is AFTER the event to acknowledge - a flick of the main lights to a long vehicle say OK to pull back into the lane or a LRL flicker to say thanks after I pass.
FollowupID: 765201

Follow Up By: happychap - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 17:28

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 17:28
I also absolutely agree.

Years ago I was traveling from Bundaberg to Brisbane in the evening hours with 3 other young people in the VW. Came up behind a couple of semi´s on the notorious stretch north of Gympie. Each one flicked their LH flicker, but.... the first one meant it was OK to pass, whilst the second one meant the opposite - there was an oncoming vehicle in the dip in the road.

Fortunately there was a side road at just the right place where I somehow was able to negotiate without flipping the car while I braked. 4 young lives, plus those in the other vehicle, were saved that night.

Like GT, ever since then I have taken full responsibility for any decisions while driving. And have been accident free for the last 50 years.
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Follow Up By: GT Campers - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 22:18

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 22:18
haha happychap, I was driving a VW too...! I was driving my Cal Looker from Sydney to the drags at Willowbank when I worked for Fast Fours & Rotaries mag

Those VWs can be dangerous :)
FollowupID: 765275

Reply By: mountainman - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 18:49

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 18:49
we were heading to brissy, from albury, two car convoy.
hand held uhfs.
we were behind a semi, i called him up as i kind of know the lingo.........
we wanted to get the all clear, next thing the semi pulls out, and tries to overtake the semi infront. didnt know of the other.
HOLY CRAP...... he got back in and i never tried doing that again.

misunderstanding is soo easy, he could have been driving 8hrs, and missread my message, or understand it.

we do use the uhfs in convoy to overtake though, yup a car could come off a side road, but we use it on the dirt mostly, try and keep the speed up, or dust, rocks down when passing.
AnswerID: 490062

Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 19:22

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 19:22
At sea, there is are instances of what are called "radar assisted collisions", where one ship, having seen another on the radar on a collision course, THINKS it is conversing with it on the radio where in fact a different ship is answering. They agree to a certain course of action and start implementing it, only to find that the other ship they thought they were talking to either carries on as before or sometimes even worse, turns into danger.
Given that ships maneouvering at sea are about as agile as tortoises mating, collisions often result!
Fortunately there is now a system called AIS where each ship regularly transmitts a signal on VHF giving its position, course, speed and rate of turn, etc and so instead of just a blip on the radar, there is now this information overlayed on the radar and hence more certainty about who you are talking with.
Clearly, with vehicles this is a long way off, if ever.
FollowupID: 765250

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 04, 2012 at 09:20

Wednesday, Jul 04, 2012 at 09:20
Having used radios for decades I am familiar with the problem so I always use something off the truck to help make contact and to be sure that I am talking to the correct one. Maybe a company name or the type of load etc. Anything that I think is unique and that he is aware of. Number plates are no good. They often change trailers.

I used to do a shuttle run to Tarcutta of a weekend to help ends meet. Then swap trailers with a truck from Melbourne and straight back home.

I know some of the language as well but I don't use it much. It doesn't hurt to let them know you are not a "truckie". Using too much and making a mistake can make you look like a real tool.
FollowupID: 765294

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 19:02

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 19:02
Yep have to agree it is a practice that could work, but with no 'rules' as such, it is fraught with danger.

If I come out of a corner to a nice straight clear stretch of road, and there is a car behind wanting to overtake, I have generally thought it ok to give 2 blinks on the right to let them know it's safe to stick their nose out and have a look.

Pity a system can't be established . . . normal daylight isn't too bad to rely on good ol' drivers vision, but have you ever been stuck behind a truck doing 80 on the blacktop in light to moderate rain ?
The road spray is absolutely impossible to see through, even if all vehicles are sensible and have their headlights on.

I have used, and seen others using, indicators at night too, as a warning for roos.
One left or right blink to warn a car behind where the animal is.
At night I expect this might be less of a danger, because it is generally far easier overtaking at night.
AnswerID: 490064

Reply By: mountainman - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 21:17

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 21:17
i would never reccomend using indicators other than that of what your doing.
and the usual truck flashing you "in the clear"

too many different meanings, some think roos, ok to pass and so on.

this is the unknown language, does the other driver know what you mean.
are they thinking straight? do they have the power to overtake?, and have some in reserve in an emergency, to really get moving.

i dont, i just wait it out, yup sometimes we all lose it about the time thing, soo much in a hurry but what is 5mins, or half an hour to the average lifespan 80?
wait untill it is safe to overtake.
they catch you at the next town anyway, or traffic lights.
AnswerID: 490087

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 21:31

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2012 at 21:31
I agree in part with what you are saying, but the piont of my thread was truckies warning of approaching vehicles, which I could not see. I was pulling out to overtake when he gave me a left blink, and I knew straight away that was a warning to stay put.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 765272

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