The miscellaneous writings of Mark Bridgeman


I mean for goodness sake they are only meant to reduce your speed, not stop it completely.  By stopping completely you are hindering the journey of the motorist behind you who frequently has to hit the brakes abruptly and endure the stop-jerk, stop-jerk of unpleasant driving when travelling behind you.


Who is Guilty?


Old People!


Yes old people, too old to be alive, let alone driving.  It’s always some man wearing a hat with thick Mr Magoo style glasses, who makes it his business to drive depressingly slow, he’s the type of man who does 40 miles per hour on the motorway, oblivious to the fact that cars are shooting past him, having gained on him suddenly before being forced into the next lane in the path of other vehicles, because that’s as fast as he is able to go without feeling unsafe.


Sad thing is though, that we all feel unsafe as a consequence of his driving.  I mean is it simply that he is older and as a result more cautious, are his reactions so poor that he feels that high speeds (and by a high speed I mean more than 20 miles per hour) is dangerous.  I don’t think so, I know many older people who drive quite safely and progressively without breaking any speed limits.  There’s a balance here, against the need to go too fast which can be reckless, versus the need to go too slow, traffic gets congested if it’s moving too slowly.  The roads can be thin and narrow, and the traffic can be bumper to bumper but as long as it is moving and not held up by unnecessary traffic calming, mini-roundabouts, badly timed traffic lights and inconsiderate road works, let alone some old coot who thinks he’s leading a procession everyone is happy.  


It’s 11 miles for me to go to work on good roads so that on average it takes me 20 minutes to get to work. I normally allow half an hour for this as a reasonable bit of give and take, but I have taken as long as an hour to get to work thanks to the selfish and unreasonable actions of these elderly drivers, so work that out,11 miles an hour as an average speed…  


Dribbling along at such speeds is hell, I’m a busy guy with lots of things to do, I have to work, I have to run my house and home, I have no choice about these things.  It’s made even worse though when these very same people stop completely at a speed bump.  In wales every school has traffic calming outside of it as a result of Welsh Assembly coalition policies, these traffic calming measures always include speed bumps.  I have to drive past several schools on the way into work, not to mention some small villages that have traffic calming just for the sake of it…  A complete stop at each of these is depressing, frustrating and environmentally damaging, think of all of the co2 these old gits are generating by driving slowly, over revving, using low gears all of the time (they have to because they are never fast enough for a high gear, like third or fourth), then multiply that up by every car behind them that is forced to do the same.


Note to self, when/If I get that old and that un-confident I will stop spending thousands of pounds on a car/petrol/insurance/road-tax/servicing/repairs/general-maintenance and simply pocket the cash and get a younger person to drive me about or use a taxi as I’m not the type of man who would like to abuse the good will of the aforementioned younger person.


What is also saddest about this dreadful state of affairs is that elderly drivers get the lowest insurance quotes and are deemed by the central bureaucracy to ‘safe’ even though anyone with half a brain could see that they are not, they are death dealing grim reapers behind the wheel of any car they own.  They deliberately open the sunroof so that their scythes can poke through…


There’s nothing wrong with a bit of sunday driving, if you find yourself being a hindrance to others do the polite thing and pull over, let the traffic past and then carry on.  Of course this never happens as it’s all about power with the elderly…

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