Australia – a place rich in cultural diversity, a place where hundreds of languages are spoken in a thousand different dialects, a place where people from around the globe have journeyed to, and now call home. And most of these people have cars and are driving on Australian roads. Of course, this has had an effect on the quality of driving today; it is impossible to have such a varied culture as ours without people imposing their own values and views on driving etiquette, and so to make the road rules perfectly clear, and to ensure that the driving styles of all cultural, ethnic, religious and gender groups are catered for, please read and adhere to the following (un)Official Rules of Australian Roads and Freeways.
Australian Association of Roadway Safety and Etiquette (A.A.R.S.E)
1. At no point should you ever let anyone out of a junction in front of you, or let them ahead of you in traffic. Even if their car is on fire, and the plastic ornaments adorning their dashboard are melting into a puddle of molten plastic, and there is a bucket of water on the other side of the road, you should carry on regardless – remember the rule; head down, foot down. Letting someone out in front of you may mean that you are 15 seconds later for work than you would have been had you not ploughed on. The Australian economy depends on your selfishness and disregard for any other road user. And if you drive an old Datsun and clearly have no job to go to, the same rule still applies. That crystal meth isn’t going to cook itself.
2. Following directly on from the aforementioned rule, should you wish to pull out of a junction or pull ahead of another driver, simply nudge your nose out into oncoming traffic repeatedly until you give other drivers two choices; let you in, or die in a fiery ball of death. This rule applies unless you are trying to pull out in front of an Audi driver. Those stubborn bastards will never let you in. At this point, give up and wait for a Camry.
3. Remember that speed limits are simply there as a guideline. It is perfectly acceptable to drive either 10 kilometres under or 20 kilometres over the stated speed limit. To avoid boredom on longer drives, it is advised that you should frequently change the speed at which you are driving, preferably every 45 seconds of so. This will also keep drivers around you alert as they will have no fucking idea what you are up to or if you have been drinking.
4. Indicators serve no real purpose and are not essential in everyday driving. They are useless pieces of plastic that flash intermittently, much like Tara Reid, or Katie Price. However, should you choose to use the indicator, it is advised that you leave it flashing for the entirety of your journey, confusing the shit out of those behind you, so that they are not sure if you are ever going to turn or whether you are simply a bit of a tit.
5. Likewise, the mirrors are there to improve the aesthetics of your car, they are vehicular accessories if you will, and should not be taken seriously as a driving aide. Again, should you wish to use them, the general rule is: manoeuvre, signal, then look in your mirror to see if the cars behind you are engulfed in flames. If they are not, give yourself a hearty slap on the back, if they are; head down, foot down.
6. If, as part of your occupation, you drive a Ute, it is not compulsory for you to safely secure the load that is in the back of your vehicle. Pile loose, flat objects into your vehicle first, and then strap a concrete mixer onto to the top of the shifting debris with a thin piece of cord. If you do not have a concrete mixer, the following items are also acceptable:
- Toilet cisterns
- Massive blocks of bathroom tiles, carelessly wrapped in cellophane
- White goods, preferably something with a flapping door
- A dog
It is also important to remember that any long thin pipes, planks of wood or metal ladders are unlikely to slide off the back of the Ute, impaling the driver behind, should you tie a small luminous rag onto the end of them.
7. If you are a female driver between the ages of 25 to 45, it is compulsory to wear a pair of standard issue sunglasses that cover the surface area of your face. It is advised that they should be so large that a passing motorist could mistake you for a giant wasp. However, it is unlikely that there will be any passing motorists, as these sunglasses will impair your vision so much that you will end up weaving precariously in and out of traffic. Undertaking and overtaking should not be a problem for you, as your peripheral vision will be so poor that you will simply career your BMW X5 into the path of any motorist who happens to be driving alongside or behind you. Further to this point, please also keep in mind that if you are a woman of small stature, the size of the car must reflect this – remember, the size of the female driver must be inversely proportionate to the size of the car. The rule of thumb is this; if you have to sit on 13 cushions to see over the steering wheel and wear platform boots like a member of a Sweet tribute band to reach the pedals, then you are doing it right.
8. ‘Funny’ stickers on car bumpers will always appease the driver behind, even if you are driving like you are slipping in and out of a coma. They will be simply too busy laughing at your quirky humour to drag you out of the driver’s seat and kick you to death. See the examples below.
9. The following stickers also make you immune from road rules. Additionally, they make you immortal and therefore you should not fear death in a road traffic accident:
- ‘Baby on Board’ stickers
- ‘Jesus Saves’ stickers (this also includes stickers in the shape of a fish)
- ‘Without trucks, Australia Stops’ stickers
If you festoon your back window with ‘stick family’ figures, however, your safety cannot be guaranteed as it is fairly certain that people will be trying to run you off the road. Especially if you have the ones with the man playing golf, or working out, and the woman with shopping bags. You self-indulgent wankers.
10. If you are going straight across a roundabout or traffic island, do not look to your right. Just go for it. If you presume that nothing is coming, more often than not you are bound to be right.
11. When reversing out of your driveway into a busy road, do not look or slow down, just keep going. It is your property, your driveway and you pay your taxes just like anyone else. You have every right to pull out of your driveway any way you see fit. If a small child happens to get caught under your back tyres, then that is the fault of the parent. Or their bike. Or the government. Whatever.
12. When approaching a railway crossing and the red lights are flashing and the barrier is closing – stop. You’re not completely fucking stupid.
13. No matter your gender, religious or ethnic group, it is imperative that you completely ignore the function of a freeway slip road. If drivers are coming off a slip road onto the freeway, using it to accelerate to the proper speed so as not to cause an accident as they enter the left hand lane, make it more difficult for them not to die by speeding up in said lane yourself, driving parallel with them so that they have no choice but to slam their brakes on, drive into a wall or race you like something out of ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’. If they are trying to get onto the slip road exiting the freeway, simply undertake them so that they either side slam you or miss their junction.
14. As Australians, we should be attempting to show our superiority to other countries in every way, especially so called ‘Superpowers’ such as America. Take for example the ‘New York Minute’, whereby it is acceptable, even expected, to employ your car horn to show your distaste at the driver in front for not pulling away at a green light fast enough. Here, we have the Melbourne Nanosecond, whereby the car horn is employed at the exact moment the light turns green, if not a little before. It is also perfectly acceptable to accompany this honking with wild gesticulations, such as, but by no means limited to:
- Throwing your arms in the air and waving them around like Kermit the Frog
- Grabbing the steering wheel and rocking backwards and forwards maniacally
- Extending the index finger, keeping it extended while you drive past, showing your utter disdain
- Executing the internationally recognised ‘wanker’ hand signal
- If British, shake your head in quiet disappointment
15. It is imperative that as a driver, you do not forget the whole reason for driving in the first place – to get where you want to go as quickly as possible and with as little regard as possible for other road users, pedestrians, animals, grassy verges, bollards, roundabouts, school crossings and so on. They are simply obstacles put there to try you.
From all of us here at the Australian Association of Roadway Safety and Etiquette, thank you for reading, and happy motoring!
Next week: Cyclists – How to Look Smug in Lycra