Road safety and an apology

To the person I overtook and had to squeeze in front of as the overtaking lane merged into the left hand lane going up that hill who was themselves held up by the queue of traffic that I was overtaking, sorry. I flashed my hazard lights at you in apology once I was safely in front of you. Hopefully you interpreted that gesture correctly. Now, does my lack of judgement make it okay for you to accelerate into my path and actively try to block my return to the line of traffic? In what way did your actions contribute to the safe and swift progress of all concerned? Would you have preferred it if I’d not seen you (and then hit my horn long and hard I admit) and just ploughed into your right hand side? My car would have been a mess, but yours would have gone into the ditch at 60 miles an hour.

I’ve just spent a week motorcycling in France and I’m left with this impression: French driving in general is significantly better than British driving. Many French people ride scooters as teenagers and it shows in their friendly and considerate attitude towards their two-wheeled friends and road safety in general. We British drivers sometimes act like we own the road and all other road users are an inconvenient obstacle. We also appear to believe ourselves invulnerable and infallible. Personally I think learning to ride a moped or motorcycle before learning to drive a car should be compulsory.

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2 thoughts on “Road safety and an apology

  1. I agree, although I think that the British standard of driving is pretty good.
    On motorways, people tend to act fairly predictably.

    In Sydney, if you try to change lanes, people will generally try to block you if you indicate before you change lanes. If you don’t hit the pedal as soon as the lights go green, they lean on the horn (even if you’re a learner)
    Driving on the motorways in Sydney scares me because people don’t react in a predictable way (at least in Britain, it may be selfish, but it’s consistent)

    +1 for making people ride motorbikes first

  2. I have always been a slow driver by UK standards. Then a year ago, I moved to Canada, and discovered I was a comparative speed demon. I can’t imagine what the carnage would be like if they replaced roundabouts in London with 4-way stops. Here, everyone knows it takes 10 minutes to get where you are going, so no one is in a hurry and everyone drives considerately.

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