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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A New Identity for Motorists

You will know of the Ipod, the Iphone and the Ipad, and now we bring you a new development.
The "L" plate for learner drivers has been with us for many years, and more recently we have seen the introduction of the "P" plate for those who have recently passed their driving test, now classed as "Probationers".
I am suggesting a further category with a new plate - the I Plate.
"I" stands for idiot and cyclists will be familiar with these individuals, as one seldom goes out on a bike without seeing one. They are easily recognised by their antics, but we really do need more advanced warning of their presence, so that we can take evasive action when they invade our road space, and in fact,  threaten our very lives.
Cyclists will know them well.
These are the drivers who see you coming, and then pull out from a side road right in front of you.
These are the drivers who say "Sorry mate, I didn't see you" when confronted.
No matter that you are wearing high visibility reflective clothing and have multiple flashing lights back and front.  Maybe they didn't see you, but were they actually looking, or is their eyesight so poor?    Is there a myopia epidemic?  Where are our opticians when we need them?
These are the drivers who overtake as you approach a junction, and then suddenly turn left in front of you, without signalling.
These are the drivers who jump you coming up to a red traffic light, and then sit there with multiple stop lights and winkers ablaze in your face.
These are the drivers who overtake you so close as to shave the hairs off your right elbow.
These are the people who think that the speed limit is a minimum rather than a maximum.
These are the people who think that owning a large and expensive car makes them better drivers, and that speed limits do not apply to them.
These are the drivers who turn without signalling, and reluctant to switch on their lights as darkness descends.
These are the drivers who park their vehicles on the pavement and in the cycle lanes, and ruin our lovely grass verges with their ghastly tyre prints.
These are the people who throw litter out of their car windows and dump their rubbish in the countryside.
These are the people who cannot drive across Swarkestone Bridge without hitting the stone parapets which have stood there untouched for hundreds of years.
These are the people unable to proceed alongside the canal at Barrow-on-Trent without driving (or should I say diving) into the water.
These are the people whose cars have somehow become magnetised, mysteriously attracting them towards metal objects such as lamp posts and parked cars.
These are the drivers who have never heard of aquaplaning, and drive at excessive speed on flooded roads, splashing surface water onto cyclists and pedestrians alike.
These are the boy racers who see themselves as world class rally drivers, having exhaust pipes the size of dustbins and rear spoilers more suited to an F1 racing car.
These are the people who open their car door just as someone on a bike is about to pass.
These are the drivers who stop their vehicles in the Advanced Stop Line Box at traffic lights.

We must not forget the ubiquitous White Van Man who qualifies in most of the above categories, together with his sidekick and scourge of the bus lanes, Taximan.
Coming up for the future we have Scooterboy, currently wearing L Plates, but weaving through the traffic at high speed with open exhaust, amplifying the sound of his high revving two stroke to rock concert volume.  Just might learn a bit of road sense by the time he takes his test (if he lives that long).

And why are they all in such a hurry? When they emerge from their vehicles and become pedestrians, do they run around at high speed. You bet they don't!
Most drivers are not idiots of course, and there are other categories of idiot, not so life threatening, but worthy of a mention nevertheless.
These are the pedestrians who insist on walking on the clearly marked cycle path, and the black clothed cyclists who apparently have no need of lights at night.
They are a slightly lesser grade of idiot who are more of a danger to themselves, but blissfully unaware of the fact.
All Iplaters are not out on the streets though. A few are beavering away in dark back offices busy designing what we know as "crap" cycle lanes.

These are the reasons why we have so many speed bumps, school crossing patrols, speed cameras and white lines everywhere. Few of these would be necessary if there were no Iplaters on our roads.
I think that it was Einstein who said "The size of the universe is infinite, as is the range of human stupidity, but I'm not so sure about the universe".  How right you were Albert.

So we must have these people better identified, and the introduction of the new Iplate is long overdue in my opinion.

1 comment:

Trexrider said...

I have had a theory for some time that the law should be changed so that if a car hits ANYTHING wearing a yellow jacket, being child, dog, blind pedestrian, cyclist or posty. That the driver be automatically responsible in that they were driving with insufficient attention.