I don’t know if I am just getting older and more aware of it, or have driving standards really have dropped.
I don’t have a particularly long drive to work, about 30 minutes, but in the last few weeks, the sheer stupidity and lack of respect by some drivers for other road users has amazed me.
This morning was a prime example: leaving town, I travel through a cutting with a 40mph speed limit and I had a little white Renault van impatiently sat behind me, obviously annoyed because I was driving at the speed limit. After the speed limit is lifted, there is a roundabout which you take the right lane to go straight over on the A5 or the left lane to turn off on the Leighton Buzzard bypass. I take right lane as I follow the A5 for most of my route to work and wasn’t surprised to see the Renualt come up the inside of me, however when I stopped to allow the traffic on the roundabout, which has priority, to continue round, I didn’t expect the Renault to carry on onto the roundabout forcing the traffic to stop. Once they had stopped, he then pushed through the gap he had caused and continued on up the A5. Once the traffic had cleared, I continued on the A5 only 2 cars behind him all the way to Hockliffe, where he left it very late going through the lights as they went red as he turned off to Woburn.
I sat at the lights in Hockliffe at the front of the queue today, but quite often I am further back, where on most days I witness another dangerous annoyance. When approaching the lights from the south, the road is a single lane splitting to two for maybe 20 yards. When traffic is queuing in the right hand lane to go straight over (or right) the queue will stretch back beyond the split of the lanes. Almost every day everything from cars to vans and minibuses will mount the pavement and drive half on the road, half on the pavement down the inside of the queue just so that they can wait at the red light a few yards further ahead.
Overtaking is another area that seems worse than it used to be. When I learnt to drive I was taught that you only overtook when you could do so safely without danger to other road users. Last night while driving home, an oncoming motorist, couldn’t wait until I was past; the road behind me was clear. He just indicated and pulled out and then proceeded to force me to take avoiding action. All he had to do was wait another 10 seconds and it would have avoided the issue.
Drivers just seem so much more impatient and don’t look ahead the see oncoming dangers and obstructions. Drivers seem so intent on there own goals that they lose awareness of the needs and rights of other road users. Others like the Parcelforce driver a couple of weeks ago who in a traffic queue, deliberately moved over into the cycle lane to block the way for the cyclist who was riding up, are just agressive.
Is it just me or do you have similar stories?