The car in front is a Nissan

No, it is not a Toyota, despite what their marketing materials may claim.

I made an observation late that week. I am often driving along single carriageway roads to and from work. The UK’s road speed limit for such out of town roads is usually 60mph. Often, I am in a queue of vehicles traveling at less than this speed. Why am I “held up”?

It seems common that the car in front of everyone, with only the open road ahead of itself, is a Nissan Micra. What is it about their drivers I wonder? I refuse to believe Nissan manufacturer their cars with an automatic “drive slower than conditions allow” computer on board. I wonder whether they are statistically less likely to be involved in a road traffic crash of some nature?

If you own a Nissan Micra, do me a favour. Please examine your rear view mirror at an increased frequency and note that when you have more than three vehicles apparently sitting under your bumper, you should take a look at increasing speed to nearer the limit (where conditions allow, sensibly). Thanks!

A Day In London

So I’ve had two “appointments” in London today. One is with an IT supplier who wants to demonstrate some equipment; the other in our data centre collecting dead equipment for disposal.

It takes 3.5 hours to drive down to the datacentre in Dockloads where I park up.

I get the DLR from East India to Tower Gateway, then a short walk to Tower Bridge where I connect with the Circular line clockwise to Paddington. Then the Bakerloo Line up to Willesdon Junction. Time: Two hours, and I’m late for the appointment.

I hop back on to the south-bound train at Willesdon Junction and watch the last three(?) stations go past in reverse order, as expected. Then the next junction turns out to be Euston. Where did Paddington go? Kind lady staff member examines the ticket that won’t let me past the barriers explains I hadn’t caught a tube at all. What the..? Anyway, she lets me pass and I figure the Northern Line to Bank is best, connecting there on the DLR to East India. Time: Just over one hour return-leg.

Just how can it take two hours in one direction, yet just over one hour when you get the wrong train?

M11 on the way back had a nine mile tailback due to a crash. Why do they call them “accidents?” I heard one officer say they should be called crashes as practically all road traffic collisions can be avoided. They call them crashes in mainland Europe, apparently.

So I’m knackered.

Above the Law?

I want to do this. I’m feeling that pissed off about it.

I want to drive around a bit, with someone sitting in the seat behind armed with a video camcorder.

When I spot a police or ambulance vehicle, I’m going to drive behind them. And when, when they are clearly exceeding the speed limit (without blues and twos) I want to get them on tape.

And when I have enough footage to prove what we all suspect, I want to ask a few chief constables about double standards.

Don’t get me wrong, speed limits are there for a very good set of reasons and in an ideal world we’d all stick to them. So why don’t they?

Roads: Traffic Management

Today on Radio Norfolk a focus on reducing the speed you drive your car at to save lives. No problem with that, except some of the issues also covered were bad driving traffic management (causes of lives lost).

My experience is that driving skills are going downhill. Each day I witness one to three cars that drift across lanes and back again while cornering a roundabout. Lane disipline has been shot to pieces.

Worse, are those drivers who believe that in the left-hand lane of a roundabout you can go right. I’ve even been hit by one of those, the driver completely obivious to what he had done wrong.

One extremely bad junction is a roundabout connecting the A12 with Pasteur Road in Great Yarmouth. Southbound isn’t so bad – you usually find most people drifting lanes but that’s as bad as it gets. Northbound, and people first think there are three lanes on the exit of the A12 before you reach the junction (there are two lanes, ahead and ahead plus right, clearly signposted), but three lanes once you have joined the roundabout itself. So you end up with three cars side-by-side in a wide two-lane road, and if you’re to the right of someone who’s just “created” a middle-lane and wanted to go straight-on yourself, you have to allow the rude motorist to effectively undertake you else risk accident.

Indeed it is only because it is so dangerous that people are far more cautious, leading to fewer accidents. Certainly junctions I’ve visited following “improvements” are often more dangerous than before, and cause drivers to be far more aware of the risks. Perhaps safety by promoting chaos?

And while on the subject of driving. Who’s bright idea was it to put lane markings on the lanes themselves at the junctions? Ever been unable to read them because there have been cars queued up on them? Like, d’oh.