British expat calls out 'impatient' driving habit in Australia

Are you guilty of this traffic light move?

Australian drivers have been called out for their lack of patience by one traveller and while many Aussies have quickly defended their need for speed, others have deemed the act dangerous.

Erika White, who is living on the Gold Coast, has noticed one particular move drivers in the country make when sitting at traffic lights. The young Brit shared how "if you're first in line" at the traffic lights, people will immediately beep at you if you do not move as soon as the light changes.

"They have no patience here in Australia," she said. "As soon as the traffic light turns green and you take more than two seconds to go, the person behind you is beeping."

Left image of Erika talking to camera while sitting in her car. Right image of cars lined up at traffic lights.
Aussies are divided over the traffic light act, with some saying it is necessary. Source: TikTok/Getty

Observation divides Aussie drivers

Thousands have since reacted to the observation, with many defending the move. "If you’re in pole position, you have the most important job. Your reaction time determines how many others are making it through that cycle," one reasoned, with countless people agreeing.

"Why are you taking two seconds…..that means probably two cars at the back of the queue need to wait for another change of lights," another added.

Others have disagreed, claiming it is unsafe to speed through as soon as the light changes. "I think it is safer when delayed a bit — you know how many stupid drivers speed through a red light," a person said.

"When I was in Melbourne the millisecond it turns green people are beeping it’s so unnecessary," a second responded.

"Even when the light is green, if you’re first you should always check for red light runners then go," added a third.

Traffic light rules cause confusion

Traffic light systems differ from country to country. In Australia, traffic lights go directly from red to green, whereas in the UK, where White is from, there is an amber light that lets motorists know that they can prepare to go before turning green.

As well as this, while the green traffic light means cars can begin to go in Australia — for those stopping in the other direction — many Australians have admitted to not knowing that driving through the amber (or orange) light is an offence. This means cars are more likely to try speed through as the light turns red so it's important to check either direction before driving through your own green light.

After one young Melbourne woman shared how she was fined when driving through an orange light, a concerning many responded to her post about it in confusion. "I drive for work all day and I did not know this," one person replied. "I thought the rule was as long as the light doesn’t turn red you’re good?!!!"

Each state has its own set of road regulations but almost every jurisdiction has followed the national guidelines when it comes to this rule. There is generally a fine waiting to be unleashed on those who accelerate through an orange light, with several states also handing out demerit points to go with it.

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