BAD drivers are everywhere, and the Hunter has its fair share.
Traffic, after a couple of months of semi-hibernation, is very quickly making up for lost time.
Having had the opportunity to spend more time than usual around the house during #stayhome, I've become captivated by the videos uploaded to Dash Cam Owners Australia and their monthly compilations on the interwebs.
Hunter drivers doing stupid things make some cameos.
I hadn't really thought too much about dash cams before seeing this YouTube channel. The compilation series Instant Karma/Caught by the Police is a particular favourite.
Police are increasingly seeking assistance from drivers with dash cams who were in a certain area at a certain time to assist with inquiries.
They've had some impressive collars from such footage. Just like airbags, dash cams should be mandatory on all new motor vehicles.
Watching this footage makes one very conscious that every time you get into a car and onto suburban streets, you are relying on others to drive carefully and with complete consideration for those around them. And that they know the road rules.
Dash cams show woefully bad drivers who either know bugger all about road rules or don't give a toss about road rules.
Maybe the quinella.
Whether it is ignoring speed limits while travelling so close up your clacker you can see the whites of their eyes or whether they are going flat chat into a roundabout with their eyes closed while assuming the outcome of entry and exit is completely reliant upon a pre-determined fate assigned by the Gods, there's plenty for everyone on Dash Cam Owners Australia.
Bad driving displays on the stretch from Hannell Street through to Industrial Drive is worthy of a dedicated YouTube channel demonstrating how that roadway is treated as a missing piece from a Supercars jigsaw.
Industrial Drive is such a lovely name for a speedway, reminding locals and visitors of simpler times when there was little unemployment and manufacturing moguls were unimpeded by pesky environmentalists banging on about a bit of toxic waste sliding into water tables.
Six years ago this month, former deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer suggested that the "rather ordinarily named Industrial Drive" be renamed Mark Twain Drive. Mr Fischer claimed Industrial Drive "has the dignity to carry that name, modernising Newcastle ... this lateral thinking, it's a very simple proposal."
Mark Twain stopped briefly in Newcastle in December 1895 to have a troublesome fang extracted by a city dentist. And if Tim Fischer's dream came to be, the street sign proclaiming Mark Twain Drive would probably have been nicked as many times as the Sunset Boulevard street sign in North Lambton.
Industrial Drive would better be renamed as Dual Cab Bull Bar Drive. The stretch of road between Maccas and the turn off to Stockton or vice versa is limited to a maximum of 80kmh in parts, but sticking to that speed in the right-hand lane either way is regarded like a red rag to a bull. Motorists in NSW are permitted to drive in the right-hand lane on multi-lane roads if the speed limit is 80kmh or less, providing there is no Keep Left Unless Overtaking sign.
The stretch of Pacific Highway outside Belmont golf course is another 80kmh zone that is regularly ignored. Last Wednesday there was a sign just south of the golf course advising there was mobile speed camera ahead. The bloke driving on the phone in the truck overtaking me slowed right down until we passed the camera, and then revved it back up to over 90kmh.
Then there's roadworks.
Try slowing to 60kmh as required by some signage through roadworks. Complying with this in the Hunter makes other drivers treat you with the severe disdain usually reserved for those who once expressed a hint of admiration for the Melbourne Storm or were serious when they said they enjoyed visiting the Central Coast.
The Centre for Road Safety have produced a simple guide - The Top 10 misunderstood road rules in NSW - and it should be mandatory reading for all drivers, not just for those undergoing a licence test.
The first cab off the rank in the guide is, unsurprisingly, roundabouts.
The issues around roundabouts include approaching, entering, turning left, turning right, going straight ahead, making a U-turn, changing lanes and exiting. Reckon you know the rules?
Rules for merging, safe following distances, yellow traffic lights and U-turns are all in the guide.
Those five misunderstood road rules are the real stars of Dash Cam Owners Australia.