State and regional rivalries are a big deal in Australia – although they’re usually harmless. The worst we get is when Western Australia decides every so often to make noise about seceding (which no one takes seriously anyway).
But Queensland is another story. There’s a weird sort of parochial rivalry between the Sunshine State and other states: Queenslanders see themselves as different, and so does the rest of the country. Sometimes it even seems like they have a chip on their shoulder.
What’s really funny is how much Queenslanders resent Australians from other states moving there and ‘ruining the culture’ – despite the fact that Queensland has always been one of the biggest destinations for internal migration within the country. Pulling up the ladder, much?
But maybe there’s some truth to all that whinging if one recent Reddit thread is to be believed. A post on /r/brisbane telling “Melburnians moving to Queensland – learn to f*cking drive” has seen Queenslanders get fired up about the driving habits of southern blow-ins, and suggests the chip on their shoulder might be entirely justified, at least when it comes to road manners.
“Three near misses in one goddamned week because you… can’t grasp the idea that a f*cking hook turn only exists in your home city,” the original poster adroitly explains.
“Nowhere else on the planet is this turning right from the left lane bullshit acceptable. Glossing over all the other problems you pricks are bringing up here with you, the least you f*cks could do is learn to drive to the local rules.”
While we’re sure their post has more than a little hyperbole – we doubt Victorians are seriously attempting Melbourne’s notorious driving maneuver in Queensland, and this is just a funny way of describing bad lane etiquette – other commenters chiming in with similar stories suggests that more than a few southerners are guilty of driving badly or rudely in a manner not acceptable in Queensland. Choice comments include:
“Legit seen someone with a Victorian number plate do this yesterday. Had no idea that that was normal for them…”
“Moved from Brisbane to Melbourne a couple years ago, no one here can f*cking drive. If you see a blue plate just assume they’re going to do something stupid.”
“I watch Dash Cams Australia on YouTube: Victoria is a state on the move right through a red light into your car.” (This one’s funny).
Okay, so there’s a fair amount of anecdotal evidence. But do the stats shore up these Queenslanders’ assertion that Victorians are terrible drivers? No, as a matter of fact – quite the opposite.
According to the latest government statistics as collated by Budget Direct, Queensland has a much higher road toll than Victoria, and 5 of the 10 worst local regions for fatal accidents are in Queensland, with only one from Victoria making the cut (Wide Bay, QLD is the worst and Latrobe/Gippsland, VIC is the second-worst). Those figures would lead you to believe that, on balance, Queenslanders are actually worse drivers than Victorians.
Call it a guilty conscience, confirmation bias, whatever – all we know is that people should care less about where a bad driver comes from, and more about driving safely.