This entry was posted on Saturday, August 28th, 2010 at 1:36 pm and is filed under Bad motoring. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
It bugs me when drivers buzz me with their cars, buses and trucks. But when these unthinking (or deliberately malicious) motorists buzz my little kids when they’re riding I wonder what turns a motorist into something so uncaring. How can a fellow human aim a heavy, fast projectile at a child, knowing they will be just inches from them if they manage to pass safely?
Drivers of modern vehicles have efficient brakes and powerful motors. They could easily slow for a few seconds when passing cyclists, or when approaching them on narrow roads, and then accelerate away. Instead, an amazing number simply keep to the same speed, almost wholly ignoring the fact there’s a soft, squishy human in front of them.
What is it about the internal combustion engine that turns Disney’s Mr Walker into Mr Wheeler?
Of course, it’s not just the type of engine. Electric cars also terrorise cyclists, pedestrians and anybody else slower and smaller than them.
The reason motorists of all stripes terrorise other road users is because they can. It’s down to size and power. Ever noticed how a Mini treats an HGV with more respect than a cyclist?
Heck, even meaty 4×4’s treat HGVs with respect. It’s because HGVs can do them damage. The issue of SMIDSY - ’sorry, mate, I didn’t see you’ – isn’t because cyclists (and motorcyclists) are so small they’re almost invisible it’s because a two-wheeler is light and inconsequential. A cyclist can’t crush a car so a cyclist is ignored. If cyclists detonated on impact, motorists would no longer have any trouble spotting them up ahead and would give them the sort of road space they deserve.
Because motorists won’t come out second-best in any car-v-bike collision (roll on the UK adoption of the EU Fifth Motoring Directive, where motorists are deemed to be at fault in collisions with cyclists and pedestrians; and, it can’t be escaped, where cyclists are deemed to be fault in collisions with pedestrians) we’re not likely to see any improvement in the road bullying problem any time soon.
So, I have an eye-for-an-eye solution. Let’s club together and buy a Caterpillar 797 mining truck. Take the registration plates of all those motorists who buzz us and then let’s go do the same to them. On narrow country lanes, barrel on towards previously uncaring motorists with the Cyclists’ Caterpillar Mining Truck (CCMT) and see how they like it.
In town, squeeze past them at speed with our huge CCMT, giving just an inch or two leeway. See their faces drop as they realise there’s something a lot bigger than them, with more right to the road than them (might is right, after all).
Now, most of the time we’ll just buzz the motorists “for a laugh” (if we even think about our actions at all) but now and then some poor motorist will come a cropper under our giant, car-crushing wheels. Such ‘accidents’ will no doubt be quickly brushed under constabulary carpets because we’ll only be using our Caterpillar 797 for getting around, we won’t mean to hurt anybody. Prosecutions for dangerous CCMT driving will be as rare as hens’ teeth.
NOTE: no SUV drivers were hurt in the making of this blog posting.