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Old Nov 5th 2017, 11:39 pm   #1
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Default Driving incident

So I was involved in a fracas yesterday, whilst driving through Sydney. I think I was in the wrong, but I'm not sure how and would appreciate some advice.

Just for background... I have only been driving in Australia for 2 weeks. Prior to that, I have only ever driven in the UAE and the US, so the other side of the road. My son sits in the front with me as he is good at directing.

We were somewhere near Castle Hill in a road with 3 lanes each side. We were coming up to an intersection and I wanted to turn right. There were traffic lights for each lane: the left two lanes had a green circle and the right hand lane (where I was) had a red arrow pointing right.

So I indicated right and stopped. The guy who was driving behind me went absolutely mental on his horn. I mean, really mental. So I kept driving straight as I didn't know what else to do. Further along, we pulled up at some traffic lights and this guy pulled up alongside me, wound down his window and gave me a whole load of abuse. His wife then joined in, shouting that I shouldn't be on the road, blah blah...

I apologised and said that I was really sorry, I was new to driving in this country and hadn't realised what I had done wrong. I explained that I wanted to turn right, the light was red, so I stopped. Whereupon the guy and his missus went absolutely feral, screaming at me that I was not allowed to turn right there.

Erm, if you can't turn there, why the **** does it have a traffic light? Can someone explain this to me please. I wondered if I had imagined the traffic light, but my son saw it also. He also saw lines going round towards the right. I am only questioning myself because this couple seemed like normal people, not hoons or crazy people, so maybe they're right?

Thank you for your help. Before you ask, I have just booked some driving lessons as I am quite shaken by this incident.
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Old Nov 5th 2017, 11:49 pm   #2
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Default Re: Driving incident

The only thing I can think of is that there was some time of day restriction on making a right turn? That would be pretty unusual on a weekend though.
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Old Nov 5th 2017, 11:53 pm   #3
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Default Re: Driving incident

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Originally Posted by bcworld View Post
The only thing I can think of is that there was some time of day restriction on making a right turn? That would be pretty unusual on a weekend though.
Yeah, that's what I'm wondering. But if so, that is really confusing. Also, the thing that is playing on my mind is how I managed to go straight when in the turning right lane. I just can't picture it now. I wish I knew where I was, I would go back and have a look.
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 12:09 am   #4
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Default Re: Driving incident

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Originally Posted by LaLaLayla View Post
Yeah, that's what I'm wondering. But if so, that is really confusing.
If it is the case there will be a sign stating the no right turn days and hours.

If there's a red light camera and you went straight ahead in the right turn lane then they might be sending you a photo soon to let you know where you were!
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 3:19 am   #5
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Default Re: Driving incident

Check out the junction on Google maps. You should be able to see the options - whether a right hand turn is allowed, any time restrictions etc.

If you've stopped at lights in a lane that's both a right-hand turn lane AND a straight-through lane - sometimes people get upset if you don't put your indicator on early enough. No indicator - they think you're going straight ahead so they line up behind you. You then put your indicator on to turn right AFTER they've positioned themselves behind you. Upsets people. A lot.

If it all looks legal - it was a right-hand-turn only lane - then there's a good chance you encountered a pair of nutters. There's loads of them on the roads around here.

Last edited by NickyC; Nov 6th 2017 at 3:24 am.
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 6:37 am   #6
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Default Re: Driving incident

If you were driving at peak time, then there is every chance that it's no right turn between say 3.30pm and 6.30pm on the way out of town, and 6.30AM and 9.30AM on the way into town, especially if it's a main arterial road.

We get this a lot on Sydney Road Coburg, where people want to turn right onto another main East-West route at Bell St.... There is no right turn at peak hours either way and the right-hand arrow stays red all the time. Only a tiny little sign informs people of the time, non-locals get it wrong all the time. This is usually accompanied by a flashing light with no right turn on it, but it can be missed, especially in a stressful situation.

This is in Melbourne BTW, but I'd expect the same thing happens in Sydney, especially with all the one way systems up there. You've probably got to turn left to actually get right up there quite often.

It could well have been a late indicator that has sent the behind car loopy as well.... as it's very hard to change lanes behind a late indicating person at peak time.
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Last edited by ozzieeagle; Nov 6th 2017 at 6:40 am.
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 8:14 am   #7
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Default Re: Driving incident

Thanks @ozzieeagle. You may be right. It was Saturday, but then it is really busy so perhaps classed as peak hour, something to do with netball, apparently.
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Old Nov 10th 2017, 11:01 am   #8
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Default Re: Driving incident

No help with your incident - but just a suggestion. Get a window sucker mount thing for your smartphone, get an app called Waze. It is basically a satnav, but more than that. Tell it where you're going on every journey, and let it help you along. It also records every journey, so if you want to go back and see where 'whatever' might have been, but you see your drive if you log in to the Waze website. What makes it more than just a satnav is the community behind it - other users will tag where there are roadworks, closed roads, confusing junctions!, police, speed traps, accidents, etc. etc. and Waze will, if it can, find a better route for your journey and talk you all the way there. I'm sure that rubbish description doesn't do it justice...

FWIW, reading your post has been helpful to me. I've been driving here for 5 years now and never seen or heard of a red arrow light. Now I know what to expect.

Good luck
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Old Nov 10th 2017, 11:07 am   #9
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Default Re: Driving incident

PS; GPS use on a smartphone can suck the battery down super quick. If my suggestion is something you're interested in, I'd also recommend a car cigarette lighter USB charger thingy too. They're pretty cheap from the likes of Kmart, eBay, wherever. So your phone won't die mid-journey - you'll actually be topping it up as you go.
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