Kiwi expat baffled by driving courtesy that Aussies will not do

Publish Date
Thursday, 20 July 2023, 4:13PM
New Zealand driver Sophie Nathan was ‘baffled’ at Aussies' lack of common Kiwi 'courtesy'. Photo / TikTok; sophie_nathan

New Zealand driver Sophie Nathan was ‘baffled’ at Aussies' lack of common Kiwi 'courtesy'. Photo / TikTok; sophie_nathan

Why don’t Aussie drivers do this?

A New Zealander living in Sydney has spoken out against the lack of road etiquette from Australian divers, particularly the absence of one common courtesy that has her “baffled”.

Radio DJ Sophie Nathan relocated from Auckland to New South Wales last month but she still is finding it hard to navigate her way around Aussie motorists.

Taking to TikTok, there’s one thing she still doesn’t get.

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Whenever she slows down to let traffic merge, why don’t motorists thank her?

“Little question for Australians, how come when you’re out driving no one does the ‘thank you’ with the hazard lights?” she asked.

“In New Zealand, if you let someone in, it is courtesy that they do a little flick of their hazard lights, or you do the hand out the window wave. No one does it in Australia.”

Nathan, who is only happy to stop and let other cars merge, says she has not received so much as a single ‘thank you’ since she’s been there. 

“I don’t do it because I’m a good person, I do it purely for the ‘thank yous’,” she said.

“Is it not a thing here?”

Aussies were quick to give her the steer on Australian road etiquette. Most said she’s probably freaking other motorists out:

“Hazard lights are to let people know cops with speed cameras,” read one comment from an Australian motorist.

“We do that here for cops ahead,” added another.

Others asked her what she expected, arriving in the Big Smoke.

“That’s Sydney for ya,” wrote one.

Another said that it used to be an Aussie courtesy too, but road users aren’t as polite as they used to be.

“It [used] to be a wave/hand raise, but people here too aggro so [they] think you’re flipping the bird … so nothing,” wrote another Sydneysider.

In the comments, one Melburnian was quick to suggest she moved to the wrong city for civic politeness.

“Yes we absolutely do! well here in Melbourne we do …” they wrote. “Not so much the hazard lights but definitely a wave at the very minimum.” 


This article was first published in the NZ Herald by Thomas Bywater and is republished here with permission.

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