Having previously seen how Melbourne inner city traffic deals with the pressure of road closures during peak hour, here we return to the city proper, heading south on William Street during a mid week evening well past the rush and into dinner time. The first video begins with the lights on the cross street (La Trobe Street) already at red.
But the driver of the Blue Kia with registration XYP 551 is determined to get ahead of the several cars turning in before they would be given their next green phase, simply smiling as those of us blocked by their position. Notably they also block access to the limited right turning “hook turn” infrastructure which allows only 2 cars to turn right each phase. While other states of Australia are enthusiastic about enforcement and even use automated cameras to dissuade transgressors, Victorians live without such trivialities as compliance. For reference there are two road rules to make the point clear:
128 Entering blocked intersections
A driver must not enter an intersection if the driver cannot drive through the intersection because the intersection, or a road beyond the intersection, is blocked.
170 Stopping in or near an intersection
(1) A driver must not stop in an intersection unless—
(a) the driver is permitted to stop at that place under these Rules; or
(b) the intersection is a T-intersection without traffic lights and the driver stops along the continuous side of the continuing road at the intersection.
Each of these attracting the same penalty of $455 (3 penalty units). Further down William Street to the crossing of Flinders Street the same pattern again:
The Black Volkswagen closest to camera with number plate MIC 15L creating a new and imaginary lane to queue in and attracting more vehicles to fill in the space behind them such that this group of cars block the entire width of the intersection over both the incoming and outgoing lanes. A big hello to this driver from NSW fitting in with the locals. Facing a red light off camera to the left all the cars are held here for longer than the green period of the facing lanes, reducing throughput from William Street to zero. Turns to the right are banned from this approach leaving the only other exit straight through, which is clear but the traffic are unable to progress. For all the complaints about congestion in the city of Melbourne a significant increase in throughput is to be found by simply keeping drivers to the rules.