Everyday niggle

Maintaining the disparate nature of this blog, I am moving from the highly emotional subject of my father’s health to a relatively insignificant issue.

Local driving (well the south west corner of BC, Canada at least) is something of a regular annoyance, particularly because in a former career I was a police officer and during that time underwent months of specialist driver training to a very high standard. It’s one of very few things I do about which I can claim to have genuine expert status. So to observe on a daily basis driving habits which can be categorized as lazy and antisocial drives me to regular bouts of behind-the-wheel profanity.

Now I know that nobody is perfect, but SO MANY people here seem completely unable to demonstrate some basic driving skills, it is amazing, and is the main reason why I decided to not continue owning a motorcycle. Some of the apparently more difficult features of safe driving that locals find impossible to observe include:

  • maintaining lane position,
  • using the appropriate lane; the left lane is for overtaking – not for cruising along in because you intend to turn left in two kilometres!
  • maintaining a constant speed (have we become too dependent on cruise control?)
  • negotiating even the gentlest of curves without braking,
  • signalling their intention at any point before actually manouvering
  • being aware of anything more than ten feet ahead of the radiator grille
  • being aware of anything to either side or behind
  • executing left turns without driving onto the wrong side of the road to cut the corner

Added to this ad hoc list of some of the more annoying habits around here is the proclivity for people to hit the gas pedal on a straight section of road, becoming race drivers for a little while, only to turn to quivering lumps of spineless jelly when faced with a curve or bend in the road and hit the brake pedal hard. Having a heavy right foot with either pedal (at this point those of us with manual transmissions please feel free to smirk smugly) doesn’t make a person a good or skilled driver.

I’m tired of having close calls with people who do the most ridiculous and unnecessary things – the cutting of the corner when turning left being the most common one. A year ago a guy did this to me but fortunately I was far enough away and travelling slowly enough to come to a stop before he drove approximately twenty metres totally on my side of the road before hitting me squarely head-on. I’ll be teaching my kids to drive according to strict rules handed down to me by the best driving instructors anywhere – wouldn’t it be nice if the government had the same principles?

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4 Comments on “Everyday niggle”


  1. It’s the ones still on N plates ( new drivers 2yrs or less) that do all of the above, that really bother me. To be so close to having just passed your test and already be so poor is scary. It’s a very different way of driving to the unsure new driver, it’s like they forgot anything they learned and now drive like their dad. I am a far from perfect driver, but I am definitely not that bad.

  2. elsimmo Says:

    The part of this that scares me the most is when people have made a significant error or something really stupid but seem totally oblivious to it…there is little chance of them ever improving. And the accident stats compare so badly with those in the UK, a much busier, faster running road system.

  3. george Says:

    Your site looks good! Just one warning and I hate to dampen your enthusiasm but as an owner of 6 sites I’ve had to remove the functionality of letting readers add comments because of the actions of spammers. On two occasions I was bombarded with pages of computer generated pornographic comments. Now I only let folks send me e-mails and on some sites I select comments to post. Other sites are http://www.activeoldfolks.com and http://www.wpgjets.ca

    • elsimmo Says:

      Advice much appreciated – right now I’m happy if anyone reading is this let alone commenting upon anything I write…I’ll keep my guard up and take protective steps as necessary…


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