'Arrogant': Poms bemoan 'Australian driving trait'

·Associate News Editor
·2-min read

Scores of Sydney-based British expatriates have bemoaned Australian drivers, accusing them of a lack of etiquette on our roads.

Taking to a Facebook group designated for Poms living in the city, one woman on the weekend asked if it was a British trait to thank a motorist for waiting to allow a vehicle to pass through a tight space by putting their hand up.

"I’ve noticed SO many people don’t do this in Sydney! Is this an Australian thing not to do this?" she asked.

"Or a cultural thing? Or even a Sydney thing?! Is it just the overly polite British in us to do this?"

Her question prompted a wave of responses, many slamming Australian drivers.

Some Brits believe the courtesy wave is lacking in Australia. Source: Getty, file.
Some Brits believe the courtesy wave is lacking in Australia. Source: Getty, file.

While some suggested the trait was non-existent in Australia, others suggested it was just Sydney.

"[It's a] Sydney thing, such aggressive drivers," one person wrote.

"Most arrogant drivers in Australia," another claimed of Sydney motorists.

One person said the lack of a wave "annoys me on a daily basis" and another said it had "driven me mad for years".

"It's made me realise how very 'English' I am whilst driving... I remember driving back home and if someone ever dared not to raise a hand in thanks as you let them pull out, it would probably have ruined my day," one user explained.

Another said Australian drivers are "aggressive and rude" while some in the group suggested English people were superior drivers in general.

Others claimed it was a generational thing, with younger Australians less likely to wave.

A thank you wave will 'improve the mood of drivers'

While it isn't a legal requirement, the NRMA believes it is beneficial to use the courtesy wave when allowing traffic to pass.

"Utilising it can positively affect the tone of driving and improve the general mood of fellow motorists and road users," it states on its website.

The NRMA says it can also be used when merging lanes and apologising to other motorists.

Despite admitting the courtesy wave was rapidly disappearing from the roads, The RACV driving school still officially recommends a courtesy wave to “disarm potential conflict”.

Yet motorists should be careful not to wave outside of their car window, with the act illegal in Australia and punishable with hefty fines.

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