'Aggravates me': Fiery debate breaks out over common driving gripe

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·3-min read

Fierce debate has ignited over a common cause of frustration for Australian drivers.

Drivers were left divided after an RACQ graphic demonstrating the road rule was shared online, revealing the correct ways to navigate merging cars.

More than 100 people weighed in on the discussion that ensued, with many arguing drivers were typically ignorant of the correct way to join a lane of moving traffic.

One of the four examples presented in the diagram showed how a merging car, coloured red, needed to give way to another vehicle, coloured yellow.

The two cars were separated by a dashed line, with the red car indicating to cross into the lane occupied by the yellow.

Traffic shown merging onto a freeway.
Drivers debated over the correct way to merge into moving traffic. Source: Getty Images

The road rules dictate that the red car, positioned slightly behind, must allow the yellow vehicle to drive ahead before merging into its lane.

It was a similar case for a second image, which depicted the red car indicating while merging into moving traffic from a slip road.

Despite being slightly ahead of the yellow vehicle, the red car was still required to give way to the car already occupying its destination lane.

When there’s no broken line separating two lanes of traffic however, as was depicted in a third image, the car which is ahead of the other is the one that has right of way.

Social media users outraged by merging tactics

Many social media users agreed that drivers of merging cars too often treated joining a line of moving traffic as a race.

“Some morons see a car wishing to merge into their lane as an insult and deliberately block the merge,” one person wrote.

Graphic of four merging road rules.
Drivers debated merging rules after this graph was shared online. Source: Facebook

“If they dropped their fragile egos and allowed someone to merge it would allow a smoother flow of traffic and reduce the risk of a collision,” they added.

Others argued drivers either didn’t know the rules or had simply forgotten how they worked.

“So many people don't know this and it s***s me off when someone in a lined merging lane tries to get in front of me at the last second. Give way god damn it,” one wrote.

“The amount of people that don’t understand the simplest road rules aggravates me,” another said.

How much can I get fined for merging incorrectly?

Fines for incorrectly merging vary from state to state.

In NSW if you fail to merge properly, you can be fined $344 and slapped with three demerit points.

In Tasmania, it’s a cheaper fine at $168, but failing to merge properly also attracts three demerit points.

Failing to give way when merging in Western Australia leads to two demerit points and a $100 fine. Not giving way when changing lanes is a $100 fine and three demerit points.

Queensland drivers can be hit harder with a $400 fine and three demerit points.

It’s a $247 fine for Victorians but doesn’t come with demerit points.

South Australia has the heaviest fine for the offence though at $409 and three demerit points.

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