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Order vs Chaos : Road Rules

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Lumoto, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. Australia has what would be considered fairly ordered road rules which the majority of people obey.

    People stick to lanes, indicate, obey lights and crossings etc.

    But it's not like that all around the world and when I have visited other parts of the world and when I watch international vlogs one sees very different seemingly chaotic riding with little respect for any rules.

    Which one works better?

    I think what creates alot of road rage in orderly road rule countries is that when someone doesn't obey the rules it creates conflict. Self interest is not important and giving way and being predictable rules the day. And when the rules are broken bad thigs and danger happens. Order can bring tragedy.

    In more chaotic road rule countries, the rule is s/he who hesitates loses. If you see a spot and claim it you have a right to be there. Because lanes are just guides cars are just as vulnerable and must watch the space around them alot more than the feeling of being immune in a lane of your own.

    Lane filtering is more like this sort of system. You take advantage of any openings and just go. Everyone makes their own way and space.

    I haven't got first hand experience of this but there probably are experienced riders here who have.

    What are your thoughts on strict rules vs relaxed rules riding?

    Should Australia change? Can it change? Please share your thoughts.

  2. Are you sure you're cut out to be a motorcyclist?
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  3. I think certain rules should be obeyed without question, eg. Stopping at red lights, giving way for pedestrians at crossings etc.
    I find Australians sometimes get frustrated because of how many speeding rules we have ie. Doing 110 on the motorway when there are no cars around you when doing 140 could be just as safe.
    I found in Asia even though there were no strict rules things still worked out ok as there is a culture of respect.
    Australians have a long way to go before we can self police ourselves, as the road rage I see when someone decides to merge in front of someone else is quite intense, whilst in Asia its perfectly normal for someone to take a free spot if they see it.
    We need a balance here as the speeds we travel at are much higher than some of the chaotic countries you mentioned and if we didn't have enforcement of basic road rules there would be a lot more accidents, if you don't agree then check out some of the dash cams from some of the Eastern European countries where rules are still catching up to the influx of high powered cars in the last decade or so.
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  4. I am quite familiar with the chaos your on about. It is good in some aspects. Example filtering. When I lived in Bangkok because of the huge traffic jams filtering for 100 metres was commonplace. Filtering between banked up cars and oncoming traffic at an intersection... normal. 2 simple lanes of traffic is actually 6 lanes because the riders go either side of the cars. Riding on the footpath is actually legal in certain circumstances and was a question in my license test. Also scooters usually stick to the far left of the lane or the shoulder so faster vehicles can overtake.
    Speed limits? Apparently they have them but I can't remember seeing any signs. You don't get pulled over for speeding really. Never had to worry about rubbish like doing 65 in a 60 zone.
    When I lived in Koh Tao people didn't even wear helmets. If I had of wanted a helmet I imagine it would have required some effort to find.
    It's all very chaotic but it certianly had it's merits. Of course in some ways it can be dangerous as well. I remember seeing 2 schoolkids flying down a hill between cars with no helmets on in phuket and the kid at the front was on the phone with 1 hand. Thats when it gets stupid. Very much down to common sense.
    With all that chaos came a bit more of a curteous attitude from other road users as well. People may just park in the middle of the road for a brief stop without being verbally abused and given the finger.
    Horns get used a lot more to let people know you may be in a blind spot or something rather than get out the way asshole.
    I like Australia because people indicate, give way and the roads are big, open and of a much better standard.
    I really doubt Australia will ever slip to that kind of chaos but whoever makes the laws here should learn how filtering is really done and implement it properly instead of half assed
  5. Culture of respect. Thats hit the nail on the head. I don't see that here
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  6. Bahaha If I had a drink in my hand it would be everywhere right now. I'll ignore the speed farce for now, even then rules... That people don't obey? A great many people have little idea whatsoever how to behave legally or even politely on multilane roads and are much worse on freeways and highways. Cagers are useless, they don't give a shit about driving well, it's fcuked. I think what works well is people caring about driving in a safe and conscientious. I think this order/disorder business is rather irrelevant.
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  7. would be interesting to compare the accident statistics of chaos verses ordered....
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  8. I'm reminded of a chain email which circulated around work a few years ago. It was a 1 minute video of an uncontrolled four-way intersection in a developing country. In this intersection, pedestrians, cyclists, scooters and motorcycles, cars, busses and trucks were essentially making up their own rules and own priorities to filter around/past/through each other. There are no collisions in that 1 minute video.

    The chain email's tagline was, "So if this works, why do we need road rules in Australia?"

    A quick trip to the Googlemachine reveals Australia somewhere amongst the 'relatively safe' end of the spectrum of per-capita and per-kilometre statistics, while the country in this video was toward the 'more dangerous than Mad Max Fury Road' end. It's multifactorial of course (Australia may have safer vehicles, better road design), but still. :p
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  9. This. Experts (whose expertise usually seems to begin and end with statistics) are always going to be able to point at the casualty rates of somewhere like India to show why authoritarian control must be increased. And from a statistical point of view it's hard to argue against.

    I can certainly see the OPs point - third world traffic does look like an anti-system that somehow works. There, people have no choice but to take responsibility for themselves. But the stats don't really back up that theory.

    It's interesting to see at the other end of the economic scale some European countries experimenting with reduced management traffic regimes, and encouraging personal responsibility.
  10. Whilst it looks like chaos there is definitely rules.

    I also like it better than when in Australia if you make an error spmeone will deliberately crash into you because they have the right of way. That doesnt happen in these other countries anywhere near as much (I have 20000kms experience in a dozen develping countries)
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  11. Like most things in life it's not one or the other, there is a slding scale in between. Having lived with both I think australia is too orderly and hesitant. People have lost the ability to deal with unusual situations. Traffic doen't flow as well as it should. It's frustrating to drive in Australia and you see that with the incidents of road rage.

    On the other end of the scale traffic grinds to a hault because everyone pushes in. Accidents rates are higher, etc, but people don't get as upset when people do silly things.

    Personally I think we need to back it off a bit here.
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  12. I drove in south east asia for the last year, it's not as chaotic as thailand, india or vietnam - but the road rules are more or less recommendations. It was sort of like australia without the speeding or lane splitting laws. People obeyed traffic lights and maybe 30-40% of people indicated when they turned,
  13. I agree also that a balance is required.

    I also agree that in terms of measuring outcomes there will be problems. For Australia if you divide incidents on a per kilometre of road metric then you're going to have problems because the majority of our vast road system is bare for example.

    Also measurements of driver satisfaction, aggravation, near misses etc are difficult if not impossible to truly gather.
  14. Oddly, when driving here in Australia if people around me are breaking the laws, for example not indicating on lane changes etc, it starts to annoy me after a while. I think it's because I expect (not trust) them to be doing the right thing. But, when driving in chaotic countries like Thailand I embrace the chaos, feel somewhat relaxed but alert and enjoy driving a lot more.. weird hey.
  15. Most road rage I've seen hasn't actually come about from a rule being broken.
    My favourite example was when 2 trucks were waiting next to each other at a long line up to roundabout, apparently one was looking at the other one through his window, a good 5 minutes of screaming and yelling commenced, at one point one of the guys got out :ROFLMAO: thankfully the other one was smart enough not to get into a physical fight in the middle of traffic. All because someone looked at someone, it was ridiculous.
    The other main examples of road rage I see are when somebody is going too slow or somehow slows someone else down.

    I think the chaotic rules are better for your mental state, the organised ones may be "safer" but people get so highly strung that when someone upsets their expectations, they flip their shit.
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  16. #16 oldcorollas, Jul 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
    that's it.. we have rules, but also the general expectation and/or assumption that people will obey them (mostly)
    but it's to the point where many turn off, pay no attention, and don't think "what if", and then get into stupid accidents because they just assumed all was good. or.. they let crashes happen because they know they are in the "right"

    on the other hand we have the "rebels" who give no fark for any rules and do crazy shit... but as that is not the expected behaviour, people either don't know how to deal with it, or just get completely taken by surprise... and the system fails in a different way..

    hard to compare accident statistics with countries that have poor or no sealed roads, no seatbelts or helmets being used etc etc... and have far more traffic...

    then again, when the M4 motorway has Sydneys highest or second highest rate of accidents... you know it's not the rules or the road quality that is the problem :p

    In NSW 2103, there was an average of 112 crashes every single day (almost 41000 stacks in total, 22,000 injuries)
    interesting figure on page 27 (Fig 2), showing how many accas for different situations...
    the highest ones?
    same lane (7558 )
    hitting object or parked car on left of straight road (3869) (off to right side was 1621!)
    turning right across a straight road (3480)
    hit from side at intersection (3154)
    off left side of left hand bend (2028 )

    they account for more than half of all accidents..

    1/4 were single vehicle accidents.... 1800 unlicenced drivers...