THERE are those who, I know, would call me a Grumpy Old Man.
Indeed, some of those close to me think that, in particular, I am a Grump Old Driver. A Road Rager.
This is not true.
There are only four things that annoy me when I’m driving:
- Other motorists
- People on those damned electric scooters.
Other than those groups, I’m fine.
And I think my dislike of those four types of road users is justified.
And here’s why.
Motorists: They routinely break red lights. Really, watch. Light goes red and where it was once a signal to stop, now it’s seen as a signal to speed up so that three more cars can get through. Cars or even buses.
Then there are those who haven’t no idea about the rules of the road. They’re turning right and still won’t go onto the yellow box which is there for people who are turning right.
And they stop at lights in the right hand lane and only when the lights change do they turn on their indicators to let others, well, me, know they’re turning right.
And they drive up the middle lane of motorways for reasons I don’t quite understand.
And they pull up at toll booths and then realise they don’t have any money on them.
They use bus lanes thinking they’re much more clever than those of us who obey the law and don’t use them.
Sorry. They only use bus lanes when it’s not allowed. Once seven o’clock comes, they stop using bus lanes.
They park wherever they bloodywell like – including in spaces reserved for the disabled and when challenged in variably say they “won’t be a minute.”
Then there’s cyclists.
First thing to remember is that cyclists have right on their side. No matter what they do, we are all supposed to thank them for saving the planet.
If we say a word about cyclists going through red lights, cycling the wrong way up the street, using footpaths, not indicating, wearing black and cycling without lights at night or anything else, we will be accused of being anti-cyclist when all we are is anti-stupid, selfish, arrogant cyclist.
Pedestrians behave here in a way that wouldn’t be permitted in any other civilised country. They cross streets wherever they please.
I remember some years ago being in Copenhagen and walking back to my hotel in the early hours.
There wasn’t a car to be seen. So I got to a pedestrian crossing – and there were a few people standing there. In fairness, the light was red against us.
But noticing that there were no cars about I went to step out onto the road.
A fellow pedestrian grabbed me, held me back and pointed to the red light. And he was right.
In Dublin they talk about pedestrianising College Green. Drive through. You’d swear it was pedestrianised years ago.
People jay walk and wander across roads without looking or, worse still, looking at their ‘phones.
And as for people on those unlicensed, uninsured and unidentifiable scooters…
I better say no more.
I’m becoming grumpy.