*dashes into the room, throws bag under the desk* Sorry! Sorry I’m late! Been a busy few days, so I haven’t been around…hope you’ve all done the homework and read up on today’s chapters….
No, but seriously, it’s been a slightly hectic few days, hence why I missed Feminist Friday and Made-Up Monday. Sorry about that. I’ve been trying to write a few posts ahead, but…it’s not going so well at present. Alas, Gentle Readers, time is precious and the hours I eke out for this ‘ere blog get cut sometimes.
Anyway, today’s Two Cents post is about a learner driver I saw yesterday evening – and today’s opinion comes to you sponsored by Dickheads R Us. With my grateful thanks! (I couldn’t write without you…)
So, there I am. In my car, pootling around my city. I’d just dropped some stuff off at my friend’s house, and I was heading home, when I came up to a big roundabout in the city.
Tangential sidenote: there are not as many roundabouts in my city as in, say, Milton Keynes, but my city seems to have a disproportionate amount of crappy roundabouts – either the visibility is poor, or there’s not enough lanes, or the labelling is actually wrong/confusing/absent…and so on. You have to drive with excessive confidence around these roundabouts, and also pray quite hard you don’t get squashed by a bus. Anyway, I digress.
So, I get to the roundabout, indicating right, because I’m taking the fourth exit…when a learner driver wobbles around the roundabout. If I pull out, I’ll cut her off, so I pause. I know she’s a learner driver, because the bright orange car she’s driving is plastered with the logo of a driving school, and there’s a massive ‘L’ on a car roof sign stuck to the top of the car.
Also, the car’s going about six miles an hour and she’s straddling two lanes, but I mean, really. Literal signs to point it out.
Behind her, is a man, in a silver Peugeot, beeping his horn and swerving around trying to get past her. She looks like she’s about to pass out from uncertainty. (She was going so slowly round the roundabout that I had plenty of time to take in her white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel, the deep frown on her face, the way she bit her lip). Silver Peugeot Man is waving his hands about and shouting “Come on!” as he sits roughly 4.5mm from her rear bumper (I got plenty of time to look at him too….he was wearing aviator sunglasses, had a weedy little moustache and the front of his hair was spiked up, like the Nineties called and wanted their quiff back.).
In response to this sight, me red mist descended. What I would have done, in a world of no consequences, is put my foot on the accelerator and plough straight into the side of him. And when he started yelling at me, I would have been surprised he could see me. “But, but I thought you were blind! Because you couldn’t see the massive L plates! Are you colour blind? Or can’t you read?”
But, I have unprotected no claims discount, and also my car probably wouldn’t have survived a collision into the side of a souped-up boy-racer car, so….instead, I stared in disgust, as this wanker chases this poor learner driver around the roundabout, beeping, waving, swerving and generally being an aggressive, unpleasant road user.
I felt so, so sorry for her. We were all learner drivers once, even dickhead Silver Peugeot Man, and we all have to share the roads. She was getting such a hard time from him, and he was being a complete arse about her learning to drive.
I won’t pretend that learner drivers aren’t annoying. If you get behind one and you’re in a hurry, yeah, you want to overtake. Of course you do. And they make abrupt manoeuvres and forget to indicate and brake suddenly. Yeah, they’re nightmares to drive behind. Not arguing that point at all. BUT.
But I was a learner once.
So was everyone else driving unfettered on the roads, and beeping at someone and yelling and tailgating them isn’t going to make that new driver a better driver. It’s going to make them a nervous driver – a driver who expects abuse from fellow road users, a driver who is more hesitant than they should be, because they’re scared of messing up and making someone mad at them. And then they cause accidents. And that’s bad for everyone. So stop harassing the poor learner driver, and stop tailgating them and beeping at them, you sad git, Silver Peugeot Man.
In short? Don’t be a dick when you’re driving. Everyone has to start somewhere.