GraveTalk 39: UK Drivers & Driving Standards

[Please note that most of this post is down to drivers around Merseyside only. I have drove and been to many places such as Workington, Stalybridge, Scarborough, Leeds, Rotherham, Berlin, Blackpool and other places and have not seen as much bad driving as I see on a daily basis in Merseyside].

The UK is full of problems. From the government to the NHS, however, one of the biggest ones that pretty much all of us face on a daily basis are drivers. Now this GraveTalk may feature some home truths (like always), but this is one that really needs to be done as UK driving standards are, quite frankly pathetic. So, strap yourselves in because this could be quite a long one!

“Driving is easy, drivers are difficult!”

Let’s begin with the basics and indicators (That’s the blinkers for American readers – you know the lights that indicate to people as to what way you are turning!). I will be fair, and some people may have issues with their electrics and may not have working indicators – it does happen, not often but it does.

 I am talking about those drivers – BMW and Audi (Possibly Mercedes too) – who think that their cars are so good (they’re driving a lump of metal like everyone else) they are above the road laws (In all fairness, BMW and Audi drivers are mostly nobheads full stop, not just for indicators!), but not putting your indicators on not only disrupts traffic – through drivers on the other side slowing down or stopping because they are unsure as to whether you are turning or not) – but also can be dangerous for pedestrians and non-motorised traffic. The same applies for those who forget to turn-off or us their indicators at the wrong time and let’s not forget about those drivers at the front, at the lights, who put their indicators on when the lights change to green!

Let’s go onto braking. What about the people who cut you up, at close range, and then slam on the brakes. The worst part is when these people brake and then speed up. The brakes are supposed to slow the vehicle down in a safe fashion not to test the stopping distance of the car behind. You get people who drive right up behind you then overtake and then cut you close – fitting in a gap for them to just enough to squeeze in and because the car in front brakes, they brake and then you have to brake; all due to the fact that the driver HAS to be in front because they think that their car is superior to yours. This is the same as the drivers who decide to pull in front of you after indicating for a second – do they check their mirrors or just expect you to back off?

Drivers who deliberately get in the wrong lane is another occurrence I see on a daily basis (mostly at busy motorway junction roundabouts). They know what lane they should be in but because the correct lane is backed up, they decide to get in the wrong lane and attempt to cut in. Most of the time you can stop them from doing this but there are a few occasions when they quite literally cut you up, moving across the lanes without any indication but it’s not just one lane they’re trying to get into, but they need to be in the third lane – so they are willing to drive dangerously and avoid traffic by going from the left lane to the right lane. They may indicate but that’s after they attempt move into your lane. I love it because if I can do it safely, I just carry on and let the bastards wait. They end up flashing me (not sure why, they’re in the wrong) but they just get a little wave, but it just goes to show how arrogant and impatient some drivers are.

And what about brake testing? Who brakes test you, during low-winter sun hours on a motorway when you are in the third lane, going between 70-80 mph (okay, I mean 80+mph) maintaining a reasonable distance (not piss-taking) of the car in front and the car behind suddenly decides to undertake (as you slow down due to the car in front braking) and then that car cuts you up without indicating causing you to slam on.

Let’s talk about when drivers need their lights on when they are parked up. I don’t know if they are visibly declined or just stupid, but several drivers (at least in Merseyside) that decide to park up and put their full beam lights on in built-up areas. Have they forgotten or do they just don’t care, after all if the oncoming car hits someone through being dazzled then it’s not the parked car driver who is getting done. If you’re parked up just turn your bloody lights off or use the parking lights – don’t try and dazzle oncoming traffic.

Talking about dazzling, why do some people need to use their full beam during daylight hours? If they struggle to see DURING the day, they definitely shouldn’t be driving (Night-time is different, but my eyes are bad (and I should wear glasses more, but I don’t, even on my lessons I hardly wore them) yet I don’t use the full beam at night (unless it’s a country lane without streetlights and I still turn them off when I see approaching cars well in the distance – a pity some don’t give the same curtesy!). The full beam is designed to help see on unlit roads but it’s now become a tool for obnoxious drivers to bully and intimidate other drivers into giving way or moving out of the way – the right lane is empty why can’t they just move into it or if they are taking the next turn, just slow down (as you’re supposed to) – because the car in front isn’t but is still going the speed limit, why should they speed up because of entitled prick?

Staying on night-time driving, why do so many people speed in residential areas at night. These idiots should NOT be behind a wheel of a car. These people are part of the problems that exist on the roads today and why I am writing this post. At night, stating the obvious here, it’s a lot darker and visibility is much lower and in built-up areas you need to be extra alert, so you don’t hit anything or anyone. Speeding during daylight hours is bad enough but speeding at night is just plain stupid and utterly dangerous. The same goes for the idiots who drive up behind you (in the left lane) flashing their headlight or shining their full beams at you? Why do that? You have plenty of space to move over so why act like a retarded turd?

Night driving is great, especially on motorway or a country road (except from the odd drivers that forget to turn their full beams off as they approach you. If I’m on a country lane as soon as I see headlights in the distance my full beam goes off – or I just stop using it as most of the time I just flash every so often even though you are supposed to use them on roads without streetlights). Night driving is quite relaxing, with few cars on the road you can just sit back and enjoy the darkness with your music playing – just don’t fall to sleep!

So that’s braking, night driving and indicating done so it’s now time for red lights. Now, I must see around 50 cars jumping red lights every day! Switch Island in Liverpool – in-particular coming onto Switch Island from the M58 (The M57 isn’t too bad) – of a morning the minimum number of redlight jumpers in one go is at least 10 – they continue even after your lights have turned green. There’s another junction by Liverpool airport where drivers just don’t bother to stop can continue to drive through a red light even though your lights are on green and you’re in the middle of the road turning right! These dickheads are not only lucky and dangerous but redlight jumpers (like Switch Island) are just causing needless congestion.

I understand if someone is right up behind you and the lights change you must go through because braking would cause a crash (yes it the other driver would be at fault, but you just know that’s not what the insurers will say) but that’s different than just deliberately going through red lights because you can’t be bothered to wait thirty seconds. The only way to solve this (and it would be annoying, and I wouldn’t want it) is to put cameras on every single traffic light and prosecute all red-light jumpers. This will never happen as it is expensive, and some lights may not be in the best locations, but it would be beneficial. What you would end up getting is a new game, with drivers, where they get right up your arse approaching the lights knowing full well that to brake would cause a crash all just to get you to go through the red light.

Junctions. There are people – mostly on residential roads or 20mph zones – that get up your arse despite taking the turn you are literally just passing. Why? Are the wives having an affair? What’s the big rush? Why act like an absolute tosser? There’s no need for it and it may intimidate nervous drivers (more on them later) but not me. You want to get up my arse, be prepared to frigging wait because I will go as slow as possible just to piss you off further and expect a little wave too!

Now, to balance this out, there are times when (on residential roads and A Roads) when drivers know they are taking the next turn – a but insist on slowing right down miles away from it. Yes, you should slow down when turning into a junction, but you can start slowing down in plenty of time closer to the junction. I can see why people are nervous to drive (especially older people) but there is no need to be. I know cars are handy and we become so reliant on them but if you are nervous, you shouldn’t be driving – especially with todays idiots. I love driving – never thought I’d ever admit that (well only Almera’s) but I do prefer trains.

I can see how not driving would affect peoples lives but just don’t be nervous. Just stay calm, be aware, keep to the speed limits and rules and you’ll be fine. Getting anxious is just like being a dickhead in that it causes problems for other drivers and can lead to crashes and possibly worse!

I am going to start to wrap things up now, as I have probably waffled on for far too long, so let’s move onto cyclists, lorry drivers and everyone’s favourite taxi drivers! (I was going to include van drivers but despite what people say, I tend to find van drivers actually quite decent drivers – there’s the odd few but overall, I’d say van drivers do give way will let you in and actually obey the rules a lot more than other road users! Except for that nob-head the other day on the Knowsley Expressway doing well over 100mph keeping up with an ambulance on a call out – you my friend are a piece of shit, actual scum!)

So, let’s begin with cyclists. Now let’s begin with something that recently happened to me. I was approaching a tight bend (in a 20mph, so I was actually doing around 20 because it is actually pretty tight and narrow – now this bend is on a blind corner for the people at the stop line – a cyclist was waiting at the stop line. I moved slightly wide (into the right lane because there was no oncoming traffic) to give the cyclist space (because apparently cyclists are SO big that they require the whole road to themselves) and what did he do? Go around the back the back of me? Wait until I am clear? No. He just decided to ride straight into me! He didn’t actually hit the car because I saw him and stopped as he went rode in front of me and didn’t even acknowledge it – just kept his head down and rode on. I am on the main road, and he was at the stop line but I had to stop for him otherwise he would have hit me and then put in a claim against me? Stop lines are like red lights – BLOODY STOP AT THEM!

The new rule is to give cyclists plenty of space (which is what the rule said, didn’t it?) but the highway code also says that cyclists need to obey the rules of the road when riding on the road and how many actually do? At red lights, they either ride through them or hope onto the pavement and go through the pedestrian lights or ride next to you and instead of keeping left stop in the middle of the lane blocking you from going past them went the lights turn green. Even on country lanes, I am seeing more cyclists in groups with three or four abreast – that’s just taking the piss, two next to each other is bad enough. Yes, cyclists are slower than cars, but they are using the road and should be courteous enough to try and give a faster moving vehicle a chance to overtake them – the same with caravans – they should move over (if possible) when there is a large queue. Some cyclists do and some even wave you on – those cyclists get a thank you from me but it’s the ones who take the piss that are the problem.

Going onto lorry drivers. Lorry drivers are driving large vehicles that require a larger braking distance than cars, yet lorry drivers seem to love getting right up behind the cars that if the driver of the car breaks, then they could be signing their own death certificate. Another thing is speed. Lorries are only supposed to go up to 60 mph but for some it looks like they are going a bit faster than that. A Merseyrail train goes between 40mph-70mph between stations and when you see them go past, they look like they are going around that speed, but some lorries don’t look like they are going 60. I am sure they have removed a limiter on the lorries. Lorry drivers if you want to drive fast, don’t drive lorries! Another point is reversing. The government brought out a rule over lorry drivers not having to reverse on their test, yet lorries don’t always have a banksman (or woman) helping them reverse? If you’re driving a big lorry, you should learn how to reverse it safely!

Here we go, taxi drivers! Where do we start? Well, let’s start with speed. I’ve noticed that taxi drivers seem to go a lot faster when you’re not in them because taxis either break the speed limit or kerb crawl – no in-between! Black cabs just go-slow full stop (but they are probably the best version of taxi drivers, although the most expensive (but this isn’t about money or how taxi drivers rip you off!) but by far better than private hire drivers. Private hire drivers are, possibly, the best example of the impatient driver. They rush up right behind you flashing their headlights before overtaking and cut you up and break as soon as they get in front.

For some reason taxis seem to be fitted without indicators and rear-view mirrors because they just suddenly pull up with out any indication or just decide to park in the middle of the lane without warning. The best part is that taxi drivers always seem to moan about other people’s driving when they’re in the pub (apart from money – just like dart players they’re like a bunch of rapey Jews!), when they should probably try looking at their driving! [Disclaimer, again not all taxi drivers are bad. There are quite a few decent ones and not just a load of serial rapists!]

[Just a few more points before I finish up – thanks for staying with me for this long! You deserve a medal!]

Here’s one that will be touched upon in a separate GraveTalk but is sort of linked to driving and that is modern life and concentration. A lack of concentration will lead to crashes and judging by the number of crashes on the roads today there are a lot of people who just shouldn’t be driving. This really should be addressed on either the theory or practical tests – using a satnav is on the test but there are types of people who panic or get angry and of course satnavs aren’t the best or most accurate and instead of just pulling over these people may just lack that second’s worth of concentration and that inevitably causes a crash. If every driver just paid attention there is no reason for crashing.

There are times I’ve looked out the window and looked back to the road and had to brake but there have been plenty of times when I am driving, doing **70mph** close-ish to the car in front (Being honest, sometimes 100/110mph but more like 80-90) “paying lip service” to the road, with just my thumb and forefinger holding the steering wheel. You can say that’s stupid and yes you are absolutely correct, but the difference is that I am still in complete control of the vehicle (bar any tyre blow outs or mechanical breakdowns). The road may not have my total concentration, but I am still aware of my surroundings and that is how easy driving is. You don’t have to be glued to the road but just don’t take your full concentration off the road and if you’re the person who can’t do that then, quite simply DON’T DRIVE and put other people’s lives at risk!

That previous point (by the way) has nothing to do with using mobile phones. Let’s be honest, I’ve used a phone while driving, still do sometimes (just to make a call or to answer, and you have as well – most people have! Have you crashed or lost concentration? Well, I haven’t – if anything I am more concentrated. However, you see people crossing the road just looking at their phones not looking at the road to see any cars approaching/turning and they’re the types who I am referring to – just brain-dead zombies who can’t put down their phones for a second!

Quickly, let’s move onto speed and red-light cameras! The paedophiles of the driving world – everyone hates them but there are some roads/junctions that I would have cameras installed. The junctions that cause traffic jams because about ten cars just jump the red lights every time or A roads that constantly have people going 60 in a 40 zone. Switch Island is one example. It may be an inconvenience, but I would have red light/speed on green cameras on every single light at that junction. The cameras would pay for themselves within a few hours, and it could possibly reduce congestion and accidents.

Last point now (this is now 5 pages long) and here’s an honourable mention and that is just the quality of the roads. Vehicles may be heavier and the sheer volume of vehicles on the road, in addition to the cost does make it difficult to maintain the quality of the roads on a regular basis as well as the hassle of road closures/roadworks interfering in modern-impatient life but if councillors/politicians stopped putting their hands in the public finances for personal gain (Yes I am calling them bent – you should all know by now that I don’t pull punches!) then possibly they may find some money to maintain the majority of the roads every year!

And that’s it! I wasn’t kidding when I said this could be a long one! You may think it was a load of waffle, but these are just some of the things that annoy me about UK roads and drivers! Driving standards may be bad now but just wait because in a few more years they will get worse as more of the “new generations” get their licences added in with all the new in-car technology and entertainment! Just be prepared!

I hope you enjoyed this very long GraveTalk and be sure to add your driving annoyances in the comments section. I have a few more GraveTalk’s planned before the year ends. One is about the environment, America, (possibly) points for a British Republic and one about how I would solve the country i.e., manifesto/economy plan! See you next time!

Thanks for reading!





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