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John Ward is troubled by tailgaters and 'macho' drivers





One of the banes of motoring was discussed the other day with the point of driving or rather trying to drive to the designated, legal speed limits nowadays, as it’s now an endurance test that could possibly be classed as an outdoor sport in the foreseeable future, assuming enough of us survive that long of course.

In my defence, not that I need one, I would point out I like or try to keep to the various speed limits, as they are there for a reason and not to sell signs with big numbers on to site at assorted locations along roads and motorways etc or to keep the sign-making industry buoyant, although at times that might be questionable or at least make you wonder.

I used to think there was a large magnet somewhere in the rear of the car (mine) that seemed to automatically switch on to bring another vehicle mere inches from my back bumper (cosy or what - no, just dangerous) but all I am doing is driving at or just below the prescribed or designated speed limit, as judging by the snarled look on some of these supposed drivers behind me in my mirrors, perhaps I am not going as fast as they think I should be?

This supposed ‘sport’ is called tailgating, apparently.

John Ward (7271144)
John Ward (7271144)

One of the major symptoms of this behaviour is when you either pull out from a junction, car park or similar, you don’t spot them straight away within a hundred yards or so; however, within a split second, the ‘Jack the lad’ mentality driver is mere inches from your bumper, as this is deemed to show how ‘powerful’ they are - a psychiatrist might have a different and more meaningful view.

The ‘game’ then: you enter into the flow of traffic - none or so you thought, as outlined above that you could see with a naked eye - but within a gnat’s ear-hole of being on the road, your rear view mirror can be suddenly filled with flashing headlights with audio refrain/musical accompaniment from the vehicle’s horn, with the driver/film extra from the film ‘The Living Brainless Dead’ doing various facial or snarling expressions in some vain hope to impress upon you that they have left their brains, or what passes for them, at home but they do have a statement to make, as it seems us mere mortals are holding them back.

The various following categories are not complete because there is always that fringe element that wish to go all out and have their very own class or category but worth a tick in the box marked ‘gormless but dangerous show-off’:

l ‘I have a newer/more expensive car than you - see the registration plate?’ (usually an impossible task as they are about an inch from the back bumper and therefore obscuring it) – or the ‘Can’t you see I’m late!!!’ (how would we know?). Delivery drivers have their very own category but space limitations here excludes them.

l Some but not all of the ‘school run’/apprentice kamikaze pilots, with half-a-dozen kids crammed on the back seat with the family whippet in the front passenger seat with mummykins/trainee goat herder possibly on her mobile wotsit clamped to her head speaking to A.N.Other explaining she is running late.

l Chancers in life who also persist in driving while on their mobile phone - in recent years, I cannot remember covering a journey from home and back without seeing so many doing it, so has the law been changed?

l ‘I am very important’ twinned with ‘I hold an important position and I HAVE to be somewhere very quickly’ (If this is/was the case, why didn’t they set out earlier then? Was the road empty and nobody there to victimise or harass?).

It’s hard to believe it's explained in that book thing called the Highway Code the reason for keeping a safe (note ‘safe’) distance between vehicles is about the braking process, as in having adequate distance mixed with common sense to do so but this is/was only considered/used at the time of their driving test as they thought - it seems - it only applied on that day they took their driving test.

There is that certain section of the motoring public - plus those out on special day release schemes - that will go berserk or even start gnawing at the carpet edges if the price of fuel goes up as they write (or rather those capable of or have an idea how a pen/pencil works) to their MP, social worker plus their personal stylist and/or trainer to protest most strongly to the media, shouting and leaping up and down to say how ‘outraged’ they are that the price of fuel has gone up.

Now, if they drove their vehicle in a safe and responsible or perhaps even 'normal' manner, their fuel would possibly last a bit longer, as opposed to the ‘diver's lead boot’ method so enjoyed by the peanut-brained, who just have to drive with foot cemented to the floor at every and all opportunities to impress others that they are in some way, well, superior to others or they have some sort of ‘macho’ aura about them but it's about the same of either gender as stupidity knows no bounds.

This form of aggression, which it is in real terms, can be caused or brought on by various factors, including someone who had to cut their own sandwiches for their lunch as ‘they who must be obeyed’ threw a wobbly the night before when they could not find the remote control for the flat screen wonder when their favourite telly soap or advert for pimple removal cream had the sound drop off at a supposed ‘crucial moment’.

Then those ‘being in a right moody’ or the ‘lady of the house’ was trying to put her make-up on quickly as she was ‘running late’ as the handle on her lipstick roller snapped off (although it worked perfectly OK when it was used to paint the kitchen ceiling) hence the ‘being in a right moody’ dontcha know.

Getting back to the start, it is very difficult to drive to a set speed limit due to these deranged imbeciles who drive with no respect for others on the road, although vehicles these days are more like projectiles, as some drivers/pilots with a totally vacant space between their ears seem to want to find out if their vehicle really does go as fast as was implied in all those fancy adverts but then, when was the last time you heard or read about a car manufacturer stating how slow their product went?

Then there are those who overtake and continue on their rampage down the middle of the road as if they own it but until such times as they can show the receipt for it, they don’t - but then again, perhaps some are unsure of which country they are in - plus it's hard to believe other, alleged, life forms from other planets come here to study us.

Instead of dozens of cup holders, perhaps dash cameras should be a standard fixing in vehicles to determine how good or bad the driver actually is.



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