Returning from the South Coast on the day after August Bank Holiday is always going to test the patience of a saint and I am not saintly. When a driver, in part at least, brings travel trouble upon himself, it is even worse; at least that’s my recent experience. I also found that the idea of driving courteously seems to be a thing of the past.
I knew, didn’t I, that the Great Dorset Steam Fair was taking place over the holiday weekend near Blandford Forum. I also knew that the last day of the show was BH Monday which meant they would be chucking out all the campers and exhibitors the next day. Tuesday. Yet still my planned homeward bound route took us right past the show ground. Some people just ask for trouble.
Inevitably I was caught up in a caravan and trailer convoy of epic proportions which also included articulated trailers toting traction engines all encompassing many private cars. So far so bad. I sat there fuming at the wheel of the excellent new SUV, the Skoda Kodiaq, trying to maintain family equilibrium.
Gradually, slowly, the traffic filtered away and I was left in a line of maybe twenty cars when suddenly we came across a vintage truck pulling a huge vintage caravan. The maximum speed this leviathan made was 20mph. It was slower on hills. The A354 to Salisbury is not noted for easy passing and requires motorists trapped in front of you to show a bit of gumption and take advantage of the few safe overtaking opportunities. This is not always the case.
The queue behind grew ever longer and more frustrated….
Driving Courteously Is The Law
The point is, the driver of this big rig was like a dead owl. He couldn’t give a hoot for other roads users. The law requires slow moving vehicles to pull over when safe to do so. This particular driver clearly didn’t know this or, more likely, didn’t care to exercise that option.
I understand that having spent a demanding long weekend at the show ground he wanted very much to get home. The trouble is, so did the rest of us and, as in all things, majority rules. He should have stepped aside. The result is that there were some hair-raising passes executed that, had the UK maintained a traffic police force worthy of the name, the drivers would have been hauled off to the chokey or the hospital quick smart.
We went all the way to Salisbury like this.
Driving Courteously Should Be The Norm
That’s the point of this Sunday Sermon. Our roads are busy enough without all the flagrant discourtesy and general appalling driving we all see every day. Why not try showing some love for a change? Let people out of junctions, allow faster vehicles to pass, give a cheery wave with more than two fingers. You never know, it might work for the betterment of all drivers.
If you want autonomous driving forced upon motorists of Britain then you lot are going the right way about it. You can forget the freedom of the road. Already the ‘authorities’ believe that spy cameras (which make money) are preferable to real live coppers (who cost money) but there is much that isn’t seen; just like that selfish road user on the A354. Geoff Maxted