Dear Crazy Drivers…

Dear Crazy Drivers,

Yes you – you know who I mean, you were tailgating me as we went into Bristol. I was in the correct lane for where I was going and even if I had wanted to pull over into the inside lane to let you past me, I couldn’t safely do so. However, you thought it was safe to swing into that lane, undertake me, and then swing across in front of me. Once in front of me you couldn’t go any faster than I was because of the vehicle in front. A few minutes further on and you swerved back into the inside lane to take the exit… You were driving a van so maybe you were going to work, well, I hope you got there safely, and I hope the other vehicles travelling in the same direction also managed to get there safely with you no doubt tailgating them and bobbing and weaving…

And I’m also talking to you, crazy motorbike rider – you with the under-powered bike. We were travelling out of the city, along a 50 mph road with cross-hatching along the centre between the two opposing carriageways and bollards every couple of hundred yards. The purpose of this was to stop people overtaking on a fast and dangerous stretch of road. Did this not occur to you? I was rattling along at just under the speed limit, some way back from a scaffolding lorry which was belting along nicely at the required 50 mph. You struggled past me on your red bike, managed to get some momentum as we went down a hill, but then, as we went up the other side, approaching a bend in the road round which no-one with normal eyes could see, you decided to overtake the scaffolding lorry. You just didn’t have the power did you? There was on coming traffic but I thought for a moment you were going to go the wrong side round the bollard, but fortunately no, you squeezed in front of the scaffolding lorry and on you went. I hope you reached your destination safely, and didn’t give any other road users near heart-attacks.

Oh and by the way, scaffolding lorry, I hope you got to the place you were going to erect your scaffold without any of your poles coming off the back of the truck – I kept well back from you just in case they did. And I really think you ought to pop into the garage, your lorry sounded as if it was being powered by a metal-cutting saw – I presume it wasn’t.

Thank you for your attention,

yours sincerely

an ordinary road user

PS just in case you don’t know or have forgotten, here is what rule 130 of The Highway Code says:

Rule 130

Areas of white diagonal stripes or chevrons painted on the road. These are to separate traffic lanes or to protect traffic turning right.

  • If the area is bordered by a broken white line, you should not enter the area unless it is necessary and you can see that it is safe to do so.
  • If the area is marked with chevrons and bordered by solid white lines you MUST NOT enter it except in an emergency.

Drive safe

I know ‘drive safe’ isn’t correct, but it’s just a funny line from ‘Hot Fuzz’… however, driving to visit my sister, about ten miles there and ten miles back, I saw some very unsafe driving… stupid, careless, dangerous driving:

  • going through a very small village with vehicles parked on either side and very few places to pull in, the road rises to a low crest, so there is an incline on either side. I was following a sports car and it waited in a safe place to let a huge tractor and trailer through (we live in Somerset, it’s nearing harvest time and the roads are full of farm machinery. The woman in the sports car knew the tractor driver and waved at him… and he waved back with one hand, his other hand holding a mobile phone to his ear as he accelerated up the slight incline… I admit I closed my eyes
  • coming back onto the main road having visited my sister, turning right across the traffic, I waited for a stream of motorbikes heading in the same direction as I was. It’s common on a lovely summer day for bikers to visit the seaside… They sped past, some two abreast, and I noticed them overtaking cars even though there was a hatched double white line and a junction on the left, I turned into the stream of traffic and more bikes came up behind me so I kept to the left so they could safely overtake… I didn’t expect them to overtake in pairs, nor to overtake me on a bend. We got to a junction onto a very busy, very fast A-road; a car was waiting to turn right, and the bikes manoeuvred themselves all round the car and then crossed in bunches of two and three. A car pulled up beside them as if to turn left, but he turned right as they did… again I crossed my eyes. As I got to the junction, more bikes came up and squeezed ahead of me… I just waited until they were all gone. I saw them doing the same thing at the next set of traffic lights; cars were in a queue to go straight on, the bikes turned across in front of them so the cars had to wait…
  • Nearly home and driving along a small town road; there is a cycle track painted clearly with a thick white line so cyclists can safely ride along without cars coming too close. So what did I see? A cyclist going along in the cycle lane, and half a dozen others on the path riding along under-taking him… thank goodness there weren’t any pedestrians…

So, a tractor driver, bikers, cyclists… I didn’t see any naughty motorists… which makes a change!