The Long & Winding Road

Posted on 3rd April 2007

It still amazes me how badly some people drive. I drove from Gloucester to Milton Keynes last night, which is a distance of about 80 miles. It took 2 hours. Seeing as much of the roads were either main roads or dual carriageway (the trek on the M40 was only 5 miles), it should have taken quite a bit less.

However, driving 40-50mph in a 60mph limit doesn't help. Having idiots slow down and even break, because a car several hundred yards in front of them slowed down is just ludicious. I used to think lorries were the most infuriating as they clog the motorways during rush hour, but it seems there are even worse drivers who thankfully steer clear of motorways.

It would also seem that road hogging crosses the age barriers as well as gender. I've noticed more and more that you cannot stereotype the kind of person that gives little care for other road users. I do wonder though, whether children see how their parents drive and pick up the bad habits.

In the UK you have to redo your driving test once you reach 70, which is a good thing, as many older drivers develop disabilities that may impair their driving, which unless tested, they may not even be aware of.

But I do think there should better testing done earlier too. The current driving tests give the new driver an open road. Even though they have not had any proper experience driving on a major road or motorway. It's not very often that your driving lessons give you in any sort of medium to long distance driving situation.

So I would like to see better take up of the Provisional Driver (Green P plate), so that new drivers can get further lessons for motorways and regular driving along major and country roads. Then for them to have an extended test where they are asked to take a journey of 1-2 hours, so the examiner can see whether they are being over cautious, too aggressive or just inconsiderate. It might help to curb some of the bad habits some drivers pick up.

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