Some recent and mildly sarcastic observations on the practises of motorists* in Cardiff and its environs by S.Nurse, cyclist**, parent and occasional observer of human behaviour.
- Use of indicators. The indicators exist for the sole purpose of indicating the intentions of the motorist when deviating from a straight route. They may be found on the right hand side of the steering wheel, attached to a plastic ‘stick’ and are marked with arrows corresponding with the direction in which the driver intends to travel. This cyclist would appreciate their active employment as use of the roads should not be a high speed game of ‘Give us a clue’.
- Pavements. According to the Oxford English dictionary, a pavement is a ‘raised paved or asphalted path for pedestrians at the side of a road’. In my experience this is clearly not always the case as the pavement also appears to be place where one parks half of one’s motor vehicle. Heaven forbid that the motor car should be placed entirely on the road. After all, we know how dangerous roads are.
- Many drivers enjoy sharing a close relationship with cyclists. Whilst I enjoy the company of other people like the next man, I would rather not have my kneecaps regularly polished by passing vehicles if it’s all the same to you.
- Junction boxes. Large boxes populated with diagonal yellow lines are, on the whole, painted on the road for a jolly good reason; it is to keep the area clear. Yes clear. Free. Not blocked. Oh no. That would be a rather distasteful faux-pas. Wherever one see’s these boxes, try not to loiter in one’s car directly over them, thus blocking the movement of other vehicles. Aside from providing a rather wiggly game of slalom through-the-cars, the deviating motorist may attract the ire of other drivers.
- The current speed limit in urban areas is, on the whole, 30mph. Whilst – in the view of this risk averse parent – it is still a little high, it is an upper limit within the city. And by upper, we mean ‘top’, ‘ceiling’ or to put it more plainly ‘that’s as fast as you can go before the law has been broken sonny boy’.
- Zebra crossings. The Zebra crossing is for the lady or gentleman driver, by which I mean to say, they reflect the impeccable manners of the motorist that observes their intended use. As I cycle along, I regularly see the following passage mouthed by polite gentlemen at the wheel. ‘I must hold on dear! There’s a pedestrian approaching! Let us give them the time to cross safely at this place that is clearly marked for them to do so’. The pedestrian smiles, acknowledges with a wave of the hand and crosses the busy section of road safe and secure. Sadly there are also rather a lot of drivers who are neither gentlemen nor ladies and feel that the Zebra crossing is nothing but a fatuous piece of street furniture intended to dupe people into thinking they can cross without going to all the faff and high expense of a ‘proper’ pedestrian crossing. After all, why stop when you can race through the crossing whilst a parent and child are still on it? It really would mean a few seconds delay wouldn’t it?
There must be something in the tea this morning. I’ve woken up all sarky.
*Quick footnote – This piece in no way defends poor cycling. It is intended to amuse and identify poor practise.
**Another quick footnote – I drive too.