Don't Be A Space Invader ....
This is how exciting I am these days, ranting about traffic solutions and motorway madness. Jeez, crack open the biscuits and put the kettle on. This might be dull BUT it's something I rage about on a daily basis so my heart sang this morning when the news reported on a new campaign to stop tailgating. Former Formula 1 Driver Nigel Mansell who is backing the campaign, has said that it's a 'driving habit I utterly deplore'. Amen to that ...
We live right next to the mother of all motorways, the M25 and are on it a lot. It's not a motorway to a holiday, it's not a motorway to a family gathering or an anniversary party or a weekend off. It's a commuter motorway .. an aggressive, busy, unforgiving ring of 5 lanes, driven by people who's personal agenda is much more more important than yours. I see appalling acts of motor stupidity on a daily basis and often it's terrifying.
The tailgating idiots of the road are the pits. Not only is it the third highest contributing factor to casualties on the motorway (1 in 8 serious accidents) but it also has all the hallmarks of a being basic playground bully. Bigger, faster, more expensive cars pushing the slower, less glamorous, reliable, family work horses off the road. Back off ! It's that moment the big kid stands up in your face and says 'what you gonna do about it?' It's happened to me many times
when there's been no room to move left into a slower lane .. boxed in at 70 miles an hour on the outside lane of the M25 on a Friday afternoon. THAT's how accidents happen and how people die.
There are yearly reports about how 'hogging the middle lane' is a motoring sin too far and in January this year, research was published showing that basically loads of drivers didn't even know that it amounted 'careless driving' and they could be fined for it !
The threat of fines and driving bans seem to have little effect on the die hard mobile phone offenders as well, so what to do ? Fines and punishment should always be in place for driving offences but as our motorways get busier and the tailgaters get tetchier, surely this is the time to introduce a mandatory element to the UK driving test.
As of June this year, learner drivers can now take driving lessons on motorways, but it's voluntary (Pass Plus Scheme). If we all started with good practice and learned respect for the fastest roads and drivers in Great Britain, perhaps we'd have half a chance of producing a raft of better drivers for the future, before letting them loose in a twin-turbo charged V8 at rush hour.