Joel suggested I’d attract more interaction on my blog by courting controversy. Well, like the Townsville Bulletin, I’m sick of the crap drivers in Queensland. 28 lives have been lost to bad driving in North Queensland this year. That’s 28 times my press releases have been bumped from the newspaper by speeding, drinking, and stupid truck drivers who are too impatient to realise that 10km/hr over the speed limit will only get them to their destination at a marginally earlier time than obeying the speed limit and not tailgating my poor little purple excel. Or the other poor little people they routinely run off the road. The problem is not endemic to North Queensland. There are bad drivers all over the “Smart State”. My basic rule when I get behind the wheel of my deathbox is to assume that all the other drivers on the road are idiots. That assumption is pretty consistent with my experience. Here are some simple rules for you idiot Queenslanders to follow:
- Indicate when changing lanes – it’s simple, it’s courteous, it stops people running into your car.
- Don’t change lanes while turning on a roundabout – finish going round the roundabout then change lanes.
- Shoulder check before merging – that way I don’t have to brake to avoid hitting your stupid souped up commodore.
- Don’t under any circumstances honk your horn at me when I obey the road rules.
- Give way at give way signs, give way to pedestrians when they have right of way.
- Don’t overtake me on the highway when I’m already going slightly over the speed limit – the moral to this story is that if you’re an idiot and you overtake me, you’ll probably get busted by the police like that red Mitsubishi the other day.
- On the other hand, if you drive a slow car, or drive a fast car slowly – use the left hand lane.
Here are some unwritten principles that I think should be introduced to discourage bad driving:
- When you’re being overtaken on the highway by an impatient idiot – speed up so they can’t pass you.
- When a truck is tailgating you on the highway turn on your hazard lights and/or softly apply the brakes so that your brake lights come on.
- If a little car is tailgating you in the suburban streets remember your handbrake doesn’t have brake lights and the person at the back is always deemed responsible for a collision.
- If you’re being tailgated at night let the other car pass you then high beam it. Alternatively, remember the speed limit is an optional maximum – if there’s no overtaking lane feel free to slow down to a speed you feel is “safe”.
- When someone does something a little bit silly on the road give them a patronising round of applause rather than the traditional “up yours” hand signal.
I read an article somewhere on a proposed police crackdown on flashing your lights to warn other drivers about upcoming speed traps. I may have mentioned this before but I think that if police were serious about reducing speeding and not revenue raising they’d drive around in unmarked cars flashing their headlights. I was saved by a friendly fellow road user the other they and felt so grateful that I drove the next 5 minutes courtesy flashing everyone who came my way. What’s the socially acceptable distance from a speed camera to flash your lights? Do you have to be in the immediate vicinity of said speed trap or can you continue flashing as long as you’re on an unbroken stretch of road?
Sadly this tirade was brought on because my press release didn’t get picked up by the local paper because they spent too many pages covering our unsafe roads and the road toll.