Sunday, 27 May 2012

Beware of Other Drivers!

Why is everyone on the road an idiot except for me?

Now, I may not be prefect, but I try to stick to the road rules. After all, they're there for the safety of everyone, right? Well, it seems that for some, that's open to interpretation.
Take the young P-plater, for instance. Just got his license having passed both his practical and written test and no longer needs mum or dad sitting beside him, teaching him how to negotiate the tricky business of driving a vehicle on our already crowded roads. Suddenly he's free to take the car out on his own - no parents (aka translate, no moderating influence). Instead he's joined by three to five of his mates - all P-platers themselves. The car is now filled to capacity with adolescent raging hormones!


The only advance warning you get of the teen aged-laden car headed in your direction is the disappearance of the local bird life. They go into hiding. Then everything around you begins to vibrate as the first shock wave hits. You clutch the steering wheel, but it's not an earthquake. It's the steady, pulsing rhythm of loud drumbeats. You glance around and there they are, pulled up alongside, four to five hooded heads bobbing in unison, to whatever it is blaring from their loudspeakers.

And the car itself is a teenage boys fantasy - sleek, shiny and black with wings attached; to make it go faster, presumably, although how much faster you can go in a sixty zone is beyond me. And oh yes, it has double-exhaust pipes the size of the cross-city tunnel! This baby doesn't just hum, it growls.

The hooded kid at the wheel looks over at me and revs the engine. He's got to be kidding! Now, I drive a little red Toyota Yaris. A lawn mower has a bigger engine. I guess he thinks he can't lose. I smile. It's not everyday a woman like myself gets challenged by a hormone.
If the kid hadn't been so excited by the prospect of his beating me to the next red light -a whole hundred meters away - he would've noticed the stern face of the cop sitting in the police car right behind him.

Ah! The little unexpected pleasures in life.

The light just turns green and they thunder off, both exhaust pipes smoking. The police siren starts up and they're pulled over barely fifty meters ahead. I drive past and resist the urge to wave. I get enough pleasure envisioning the scene when their parents have to bail them out of jail.

Thankfully, not all teens are like that. Many are excellent drivers who put to shame some older, more experienced ones.

But, that's another story. I'll keep it for the next blog.


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