A ‘slow’ driver displaying a makeshift window sign warning other motorists to steer clear has provoked debate over whether it is legal or not.
The yellow Honda Jazz was photographed at the Highpoint Shopping Centre car park at Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s west with a handmade sign stuck to the rear window.
The message printed out on two A4 pieces of paper read: ‘Slow vehicle. Please keep [a] 6-second safe distance to save lives.’
A shopper who posted the photo – captioned ‘Is a “slow vehicle” a thing?’ – on Wednesday said her husband claimed the sign was illegal while joking about the motorist having a NSW number plate.
Commenters took to the post saying the six-second rule was over the top while suggesting the person behind the wheel of the ‘slow vehicle’ was a nervous driver.
The Honda Jazz (pictured) was snapped at the Highpoint Shopping centre car park in Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s west with a handmade sign stuck to the rear window warning others to give them a ‘safe distance’ of six seconds
It comes amid warnings too many Aussies are tailgating as they fail to use critical thinking skills due to being in a ‘heightened state’ when they drive (stock image)
Tailgaters can be slapped with fines of up to $464 with three demerit points depending on where you live
‘I’d suggest they shouldn’t be on the roads, if they’re that skittish,’ one said.
‘I’m sure they have a reason for the sign. But if you’re expecting others to give you six seconds … then you shouldn’t be on the road in the first place,’ another wrote.
VicRoads said drivers need to leave only a two-second gap from the car in front and recommended extending it to four seconds when driving at night or in poor weather conditions.
‘Judging distance and speed can deteriorate with age and older people may take longer to react,’ its website added.
In good driving conditions most people need a three-second crash avoidance space, the NSW Roads and Maritime Services website said.
‘A driver who is fit and alert and not affected by alcohol, drugs or fatigue, needs about 1.5 seconds to react to a hazard. At higher speeds it increases to about 2.5 seconds,’ it said on its website.
‘Response time is the time a driver needs to take action. Most people need at least 1.5 seconds to respond, for example, to brake.’
It comes amid warnings too many Aussies are tailgating as they fail to use critical thinking skills due to being in a ‘heightened state’ when they drive.
Drivers can be stung with high penalties for tailgating depending on which state they are in.
NSW drivers are slapped with a $464 fine and three demerit points for tailgating while Victorian motorists cop a $248 penalty and one demerit point..
South Australian motorists pay $372 and cop just one demerit point while Queenslanders fork out $335 and receive one demerit point.
In Western Australia drivers pay $200 and get two demerit points for tailgating.
Tasmanians cop a $181 penalty and one demerit point while in the ACT they pay $407 and get docked one demerit point.
There is no penalty for motorists who tailgate in the Northern Territory but drivers are recommended to give a space of at least three to six seconds.
Meanwhile, others on social media argued the makeshift sign blocking the rear window view of the Honda Jazz was ‘an offence itself’ while others disagreed.
‘The issue may be the sign itself, blocking the rear window. My understanding is your vision cannot be blocked by that through any window,’ one person posted.
‘It’s no different to a bumper sticker. It isn’t unlawful, but it doesn’t give the driver any special privileges or responsibilities,’ another commenter wrote.
VicRoads said drivers need to leave only a two-second gap from the car in front and recommended extending it to four seconds when driving at night
Drivers can be fined for not having a clear view of the traffic from all sides of the vehicle including the rear.
One motorist compared the ‘slow vehicle’ signage to displays on slow vehicle convoys that carry large or heavy items with flashing lights.
‘I’ve never seen a slow vehicle sign on a seemingly regular car though,’ they admitted.
‘This person is carrying something fragile, their ego,’ a snippy commenter wrote.
‘This must be the guy delivering my food I ordered an hour ago,’ a third joked.