Merging madness: how Australia’s country overtaking lanes can be fixed
The zone at the end of an overtaking lane is where bad things happen, but there is a solution.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH Australia’s country road overtaking lanes is very simply described:
The problem is at end of the lane. The onus on the slower-moving drivers to merge in, when the vehicles in the overtaking lane are, by definition, faster moving, and probably more agile.
The Zone of Crazy is that last 500m of road before the overtaking section ends, and it can be very difficult driving something like a car and trailer in the slower lane trying to merge while lots of people try a last-minute overtake.
But there is a way to improve things:
Make the overtakers merge back into the slower lane.
This works well in the UK, and it can work well here. This places the onus on those that started the overtake to do the merging, whereas the way we have it, the driver being overtaken has to fight their way back in… which only gives slower cars an incentive to stay in the overtaking lane, or move in very early.
The other improvement is the dots on the road so you know when the lane ends. The problem with signs on the left of the road is that they are easily obscured by tall vehicles like trucks or trailers. Dots on the road can’t be missed so easily.
So what do you reckon – are you happy with the overtaking lanes they way they are, or do you want them changed?
- Why overtaking lanes are dangerous
- Legal country road overtaking is a safety problem
- The Australian overtake