On being a reckless lawbreaker
I had a wee bit of driving to do yesterday.
It wasn’t that much, just a trip over to the vet to collect Penny’s prescription tablets for her arthritis.
On the way back I got thinking. I don’t know what brought about my brief sojourn into head rambles [hey! That would be a good name for a journal?]. Normally I concentrate on my driving and while random thoughts may occur they usually don’t last long. That applies particularly to the local area with its narrow twisty roads. A random thought could land you in a river.
Anyhows, the random thought flashed into my mind as I was on a straight stretch of road. I like that stretch – it’s long, straight as an arrow and has no entrances onto it apart from a farm and a junction with a little used lane. It’s a grand spot for a turn of speed to clear the cobwebs. I was doing around the seventy mark as I flashed past a sign reminding me the restriction was fifty. I was breaking the law!
Breaking the speed limit didn’t bother me as there was no rhyme nor reason for it. The road was, as I said, dead straight, the surface was dry and remarkably smooth [for Ireland], visibility was excellent and the sun was shining. The only only way I could kill myself would be to deliberately swerve into a hedge at the roadside and even that would just fuck up the car and probably leave me unscathed.
But I started thinking about this whole road safety lark. They had been nagging us over the weekend to drive safely as there had been too many deaths on the road this year. How exactly do I drive unsafely? Are there knbobheads out there who deliberately drive dangerously? I suppose there are but they are unlikely to heed any messages from our illustrious police. The rest of us are going to drive in a manner which we deem safe. There is always the chance of meeting some twat who is driving beyond his [or her] imagined level of competence but there is fuck all I can do about that. The only other danger is a catastrophic mechanical failure which is a risk I am prepared to take.
I freely admit that I frequently break the law. I ignore stupid speed limits as I reckon I would be more dangerous if I kept my eye on the speedometer instead of the road. Those little painted “islands” are just an irritation unless someone else wants to use them. Stopping behind a Stop sign is pointless if I can’t see if the main road is clear without moving forward a bit. There are so many daft little rules and regulations that I probably break a lot of them without even knowing it.
I came to the end of the straight bit of road. Here, the road drops quite suddenly and does a little twist over a bridge. This is well signposted in advance but they can’t resist sticking up “no overtaking” signs where only a rank idiot would try to overtake. There are repeated speed limit signs where to drive at their suggested speed would now be dangerous.
Anyways, I managed to get home without killing myself or anyone else.
Safe driving is about driving according to the conditions at the time, any speed limit cannot accommodate all potential conditions, it is only there for the hard-of-thinking. Sadly there are for too many of them now, taught to drive by the book not by the brain.
Worst are the ‘sign-watchers’ who will obediently stick to 29mph in any 30-zone, instantly moving up to 39mph when it becomes a 40, the instantly back to 29mph when it changes back again. They’re watching the signs, not the road ahead and all around them- but that would involve thinking and that wouldn’t do.
Keep driving with your brain and let Darwin take care of the rest.
What worries me is the idiot with very little brain. Those who persist in using the speed limit as an absolute guide around here will soon find themselves in a ditch or a river. Speed limiting is crazy here though they are overhauling it a bit.
I never venture out onto the public highway without a spare reck in the boot.
Seriously though folks, I live in an area of twisting roads. The “Slightly Bendy Road Ahead” signs (or in officialese “Signage”) becomes meaningless.
When I drive in unfamiliar territory I follow closely (not too closely) the shit covered local car, van, pick-up or bread delivery van because they know the really sharp bends.
The one thing I dread is getting stuck behind some outsider, particularly on The Twenty Bends. The latter is a local name for a local road but it is very well named.