I think I’m going to start giving lessons in the Highway Code. Not only is St Helens Road still awash with cars parked on double yellows, but today, I’ve been subjected to the idiocy of the roads beyond Bolton.
1. Motorways aren’t permitted for use by particular drivers, such as learner drivers or drivers of 50cc motorbikes. Why, then, must they be populated by idiots?? Surely idiocy precludes holding a driver’s licence? Could they not include ‘occasional’ drivers, ‘nervous’ drivers and ‘oblivious’ drivers?
2. Apparently you should use your mirrors before moving. Why, then, is it now compulsory to use your mirrors after pulling out, and then only to check the reactions of everyone behind you as they gesticulate wildly?
3. You apparently should give priority to traffic already on the motorway. This means when you’re coming on, you shouldn’t just pull into oncoming traffic with a view that ‘they should have moved’. Such people are obviously driving with a suicidal deathwish.
4. You should ‘match your speed’ to the traffic of the motorway. Not pull into the first lane, overtake and cause everything else to have to need to pull out into the outside lane. Yes, Mr Audi, I mean you. Just because you’ve joined the motorway and it’s going 60 doesn’t mean you should immediately swerve into the middle lane because you feel like you should.
5. My favourite: remain in the left-hand lane until it’s safe for you to pull out. This has certainly been over-ruled whilst I wasn’t looking. I thought the aim of the game was to get as quickly as possible into the outside lane??
6. This one has been abolished too: ‘keep a safe distance’, unless the phrase ‘safe distance’ means so close you can smell what the driver in front had for their lunch. Sometimes it feels as if I’ve forgotten my tow bar and the car behind would really, really like a lift. I feel like a bitch being circled by amorous dogs waiting to mount me.
7. Apparently, the speed limit is 70. Not 50 for the inside two lanes and 110 for the outside lane. I hate it when you’re forced to crawl behind two lorries jockeying over 15 miles for position and you can’t pull out for fear of killing yourself and everyone else around you. This is perhaps why 4 & 5 go by the wayside. It’s like the ‘Overtake of Death’ on the M40.
8. Likewise, the outside lane isn’t JUST for people who want to tootle along at 70. There are other lanes. BOTH of the outside two used to be for overtaking. Now they’re for dawdling in whilst everyone else tries to a) get in your boot b) raise their blood pressure c) invent new swear words and d) make you realise the middle and inside lane are empty.
9. Apparently, according to the Highway Code, you should drive in the left-hand lane unless overtaking. I think lorry drivers are the worst at making this rule pointless since over-taking to them equals going 1 mile an hour faster than the lorry in front. In Germany, lorries are forbidden from overtaking in some places, as they are in France. Why not here?? It’s like the Grand National of snails. Sometimes, on the continent, lorries aren’t allowed on the roads at all. What a difference that would make. However, where as France is ruled by farmers who throw turnips every time the law threatens to change, England is ruled by lorry drivers on account of our addiction to consumerism.
10. There is nothing that says lorry drivers can’t block junctions by tailgating each other for miles and overtaking. It’s okay for them to cause a rolling blockade.
11. Apparently, you are supposed to use your mirrors before indicating. I wish someone would tell Joe Public that.
Am I the only person who checks the blind spot these days? Good lord, there’s some drivers who WANT to be in hospital and going through a lengthy insurance process.
It also says ‘signal in plenty of time’. I might put that on my t-shirt for next time I have to get out of my car. Signal-move-mirror seems to be the new protocol, closely seconded by move-mirror.
And… finally, one for me. No, I’m not perfect. I need to remember not to overtake on the inside. Boy, they should legalise that, or else enforce all the others!