'Useless': Age-old road rules question sparks heated debate on social media

A Queensland road rule has divided social media users, with many complaining that drivers often don’t follow it.

Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads posed the question to followers on Facebook on Monday.

“The weather conditions are fine and there's no traffic on this road—so what's the minimum safe following distance the blue car should be maintaining?” it wrote alongside an image of a blue car trailing behind an orange car.

Many people answered “two seconds”.

“That is the distance you cover in two seconds, no matter what speed, should be between you and the next car,” one man wrote.

A blue car is pictured behind an orange car.
How far should this blue car be behind the other car? Source: Department of Transport and Main Roads

Others had different interpretations.

“They used to teach two seconds but I have also heard three seconds,” another man wrote.

“So basically there is no safe distance because it depends on the speed you are driving.”

Other suggestions included “one car length for every 10km/h”, “minimum three seconds” and “two car lengths back”.

However, the answer is a car has to be trailing by at least two seconds in Queensland.

But if conditions are poor, such as bad visibility or wet roads, drivers should increase the distance.

In NSW, it’s stated as three seconds. In both Western Australia and Victoria, it’s two seconds.

On Facebook, many people complained that drivers don’t obey the rule.

“Problem is that when you do keep your distance, some dimwit sees the gap as a chance for them to swoop in,” one man said.

Another man complained “nobody” in Queensland follows the rule.

“If they say they do, they are lying,” he wrote.

Another man called it a “useless” rule.

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