I LIVE in a small village where you can’t reverse out of your drive without someone announcing it in the parish newsletter. However, although I may sometimes complain about nosey neighbours, I am all for a bit of community spirit.
Everyone pulling together for the good of the community leaves me with a warm glow inside, but when it comes to road safety I really feel we should leave it to the experts.
During the last few weeks there has been a wave of Victor and Victoria Meldrew behaviour sweeping through local villages. It could be the holiday season, it could be the silly season but if these maverick (and quite frankly grumpy) road safety ‘experts’ don’t watch it, they may not make it to the Christmas season.
They all seem to be of a certain age as well. I would hazard a guess at semi retired, possibly working part time as a volunteer in a charity shop, maybe a major player in the local parish council but most definitely with perfect gardens, too much time on their hands and a bit of a death wish.
You may well have spotted them yourself…they can be easily identified because they leap out of hedges, bus shelters and from behind the gates of their bungalows (usually wearing various shades of beige and taupe-often with a hat) and wave their fists at you while you drive through their villages.
Don’t get me wrong, speeding is never a good idea, and after all it is illegal, but I am not sure that the way to slow drivers down is to risk certain death by jumping out in front of them and shouting “SLOW DOWN…WHAT’S THE RUSH…ARE YOU MICHAEL SCHUMACHER?” The thing is, the only people who motorists really have to answer to are the emergency services-primarily the rozzers. These part-time self-appointed road safety officers need to take a chill pill before they end up splattered on the bonnet of a passing car.
And it’s not just out on the public highway that this is happening. A friend of mine was almost the subject of a citizen’s arrest in Tesco’s car park the other day, when she was spotted by some crazy man who took exception to the fact that she was driving with one hand.
Most of my girlfriends have balls on a par with any man so she wasn’t taking any prisoners, wound down her window and told the crazy fool exactly where he should go and what might happen to him if he didn’t.
What gives anyone the right to remonstrate with another driver and point out the inadequacies of their knowledge of the Highway Code? Fair enough if there is an immediate and obvious danger such as an imminent reversing into a toddler situation, or the possibility that yet another old duffer is going to take the front wing off my Ford Focus, but by and large it really isn’t anyone else’s business.
It would appear that boredom is sweeping the countryside. Dahlias have been dead headed and it’s just a tad too early to start planting bulbs and brassicas…instead the gardeners of the county have decided to wage war on unsuspecting motorists…bring on the autumn before our roads are littered with grumpy old road kill!