Random musings from the front line (well, more like the support trench, or perhaps the castle 10 miles away, supping Chateau Lafite with the General Staff) in the battle for curiosity, inertia, grammar and a Dachshund called Colin.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The International Symbol of Bad Driving

Don't Speed in Bus Shelters, KidsOver the blisteringly hot weekend, I drove 100 miles north to my old university city for a boozy reunion with some friends, and then back again (avec hangover) the next day. Maybe it was the heat - maybe it was the lack of air conditioning in every car sold in the UK until 1999 (including mine) - maybe it was my throbbing temples - but most of the drivers on the roads seemed to be incompetent idiots. Changing lanes violently, without indicating, and directly in front of other vehicles was a typical symptom, as was that almost-always-in-a-Volvo refusal to move to the left hand lane. But probably the most irritating habit of the sub-standard drivers I experienced was the refusal to go anywhere near the envelope of the speed limit.

Oooooh, a 30mph limit. Let's drive at 15mph.Now I don't, as a rule, speed. Much. OK, I have 3 points (34mph in a 30 zone, by mobile camera, your honour, I thought he was a surveyor) from 2 years ago and on empty motorways I cruise at 80mph. In fact, I'd go faster if I wasn't so much of a coward about losing my licence, especially as modern cars are orders of magnitude safer, more maneouvrable and stoppable than those around when "70mph" was plucked out of the air as the limit. But I cannot see the point of driving at 15mph in a 30mph limit, when it's an empty wide road, with no pedestrians, in bright sunlight. And, funny old thing, the car that first did this to me had that Christian fish symbol on the boot. And the next one. AND THE NEXT ONE! Now, I always thought that the point of the little fishy thing was to show the world that you belived in Jesus and all that. I fail to see why sticking it on the back of your Morris Ital (immaculate, British Leyland brown) means you have to then mentally halve all the published speed limits and keep to "fish" speed. Or maybe the Christian sect that issues these stickers (I'm pretty sure it's not the C of E) only believes in kilometres an hour. Either way, here's a message to all of those drivers with little fishies - "Jesus wants you to change into 3rd gear".

It's a bum rap, officer Mind you, there are so many speed cameras around these says, they could just be obeying one of the little known prophecies in the Book of Galadriekial about "the carriage with the fish shall be flashed and verily, will receive a triumvirate of points of penalty". I'm not going to rehearse all the well-worn arguments against (many) and for (none) speed cameras vice Traffic Cops but I'd love to know how many of the little cheats you read about online to avoid tickets actually work. You can get super-reflective number plate spray, buy real spray-on mud in an aerosol can (recommended for 4x4s only), refuse to sign the speeding summons, claim the car is for sale and on a test drive with a mysterious "Mr Galloway" etc, but do any actually work? I've even heard the ludicrous suggestion that you shouldn't break the speed limit - what a lark! Or, alternatively, you could stick your bum at the camera and rest assured that your backside will make its way onto the internet eventually. Nice bum, mate.

2 Rants & Replies:

Blogger Herge Smith said...

I've always believed that Christian Fish meant 'please ram me'. It's certainly the feeling I get when i see one.

9:53 pm, August 17, 2005

Blogger Quit Smoking said...

I am looking for ideas to start my own blog about ebooks and you have give me a few ideas. Thank you. Good blog. I will check it each week.

6:54 pm, October 04, 2005


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