Saturday, July 23, 2011
Recently, a member of my family that I am married to (no names) accused me of being intolerant on the roads. Intolerant? Me?
I would therefore like to make a short public statement, refuting this monstrous allegation. In fact, I have racked my brains and the only things that I can come up with, that cause me to get hot under the collar while at the wheel, are - cars that use the extra lane at traffic lights to try and skip the queue; cars that let the queue skippers back into lane when the bus-lane takes effect; cars that speed down the bus lane indicating that they’re going to turn left at the next junction but then keep going; taxis that get blocked behind a bus and then think they have a god-given right to simply pull out into the slow lane; cyclists who use the road when there is a perfectly good cycle path in operation; pedestrians who break the lights crossing the road, meaning very few cars get out when the light finally turns green; drivers who are slow pulling away on a green light, restricting the number of cars that can get out; drivers who don’t indicate at roundabouts; drivers who indicate wrongly at roundabouts; drivers who are turning right at a busy T-junction and block the two lanes by parking diagonally, thus preventing those behind who are turning left from doing so; anybody on a mobile phone; cars with Baby on Board stickers; pedestrians that don’t bother to check when crossing a side road because they don’t imagine anyone would want to turn into that road; cars that drive right up behind you when you are trying to slow down to take a turn; cars that can’t wait for a car to turn left but insist on overtaking them; cars that crawl past road accidents after we’ve been sitting in the tailback for three quarters of an hour; miles and miles of cones on the road and no visible signs of any roadworks taking place; cyclists that insist on riding two abreast down narrow roads; roads with no houses on them but replete with footpath, bus-lane and cycle lane where the speed limit is 60kph; the Snugborough Road junction; drivers who only indicate at the last minute that they are turning right into the face of heavy oncoming traffic; motorcycles who weave through the traffic and park right in front of you when you’re at the head of the queue at the traffic lights; the aforementioned motorbikes when they don’t pull off the nano-second that the light turns green; the people who direct the traffic around the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre at Christmas; cars that spend three minutes trying to overtake you on the dual carriageway and then pull in in front of you the moment they are ahead; drivers that do not acknowledge with a simple wave of the hand that you have stopped to allow them to pass; drivers that keep coming when you are weaving around parked cars in an estate; cars that park badly in parking spaces, restricting your ability to get out of the car once parked; cars that wait for you to reverse out of a parking space but don’t give you sufficient space to do so; pedestrians that do not recognise reversing lights while walking through a car park; cars that block side roads while sitting in a queue; cars that leave half-mile gaps between them and the car in front while sitting in a queue; the Snugborough Road junction again; tractors that appear oblivious to the ten miles of cars lined up behind them; cars that overtake you when you’re the first in line behind the tractor; vehicles that speed up when you’re attempting to overtake them; cyclists wearing black on murky winter’s evenings who think that a solitary rear reflector will make them visible to oncoming traffic; cars that roll two yards backwards when starting on a hill; drivers that don’t seem to envisage the possibility of small children stepping out from behind parked cars in housing estates; small children that step out from behind parked cars in housing estates; people who get out of their cars without checking their rear-view mirrors; drivers who think that turning left on a roundabout entitles them to shoot out and force anybody already on the roundabout to brake suddenly; people who throw litter out of car windows; drivers who use the Phoenix Park train station junction as a means of getting 100 yards further ahead in the queue; the drivers that let them back in; cars who put their hazard lights on at all times when not travelling at full speed; drivers who use their fog lights in the clearest of weather; white vans with WW registrations; taxis that screech to a halt in front of you to pick up a fare; cars that park in estates and give the bin truck the width of a Smart car to squeeze through; drivers behind me that beep at the driver in front of me and make him think it’s me who is beeping him; cars with an inbuilt rhythm section; all vehicles travelling slower than me; all vehicles travelling faster than me; the Snugborough Road junction, but this time approached from a different direction; the ludicrous 30kph speed limits on the N3 / M50 interchange; the speed ramps on Blackhorse Avenue that make you drive out into the middle of the road in the face of oncoming traffic; drivers who cruise around car parks looking for a space instead of parking twenty yards further away and walking; cars that appear out of nowhere just as you commence a tricky five point turn on a very narrow stretch of road; oncoming trucks that splash your windscreen with dirty water on rainy days; the second car that sneaks out when you graciously allow one car to join the throng; those signs for J1 and J3 which I still haven’t figured out; roadworks on a stretch of road where there have been numerous roadworks in the past year; drivers that break the unbroken white line when joining the dual carriageway; cars or trucks that travel two abreast on the dual carriageway; cars that speed down the bus lanes and always get away with it; fluffy dice; people who press the buttons at pedestrian lights and then cross immediately as there is a gap, resulting in a long stream of cars backed up behind an empty crossing point; cars that stick their noses out of junctions so far that they force you to stop and let them out; drivers who aren’t able to park in narrow spaces attempting to park in narrow spaces; any non-emergency vehicle that has flashing lights; and the Snugborough Road junction again.
I hope this puts the matter to bed.