Comments: A guest post by Mr BW

I'll add to MrBW's suggestions that all car learner drivers should also be forced to have at least three lessons on a motorcycle: they would learn much about reading the road ahead, avoiding potential hazards on the road (eg potholes, drain covers, debris), and using every bit of information (into the distance line of hedges, and line of street lights etc) to predict the road, and its hazards, ahead.

Also, the need to hang back from the bumper of the car ahead if one plans to overtake, in order to have room to accelerate before pulling out.

I am scared by the number of people who try to overtake us when we are pootling along in Mi1dred by pulling out, then trying to accelerate, then changing gear in a last ditch attempt to get enough power to make a safe manoeuvre, instead of keeping back, leaving enough room to change down a gear and acelerate to a sensible passing speed BEFORE pulling out into the line of oncoming traffic.

Posted by Blue Witch on 18 August, 2016 at 9:57 PM

I'm reminded of an advert years ago for the Citroen 2CV:

"Look what you get with the Citro├źn 2CV. A complete set of wheels, one on each corner, for perfect mobility.

"A peppy little engine tucked away up front that not only starts with the turn of a key but stops in exactly the same manner.

"Completely transparent windows for superb all round visibility.

"A totally automated braking system, simply activated by depressing a pedal with the foot.

"An automatic sunshine roof, you can automatically roll it back when the sun comes out.

"Central locking system. You can reach all the doors from the driver's seat, and many more features too numerous to mention.

"In fact everything a driver needs to get him reliably and comfortably from A to B."

Posted by Tim on 19 August, 2016 at 9:50 AM

Ha, BW, I was about to say the exact same thing, re motorbike lessons as well.

Mind you, mine would be a compulsory year on a motorbike, rather than three lessons - people can ignore stuff for three lessons and just think "I'd never do that". Spend a year on the road on a 125 (or even 250)cc bike, and they'd gain a whole new perspective that's impossible to ignore/forget.

My father used to describe driving as "Assume everyone else is an idiot, and hope they're assuming the same about you", which is valid. However, I'd probably now simplify it to the pithier "C**ts, they're all c**ts. Every single motherf**kin' one of 'em"

Finally, nothing terrifies me more about drivers than walking round the local out-of-town supermarket. Seeing how these people can't even drive a trolley cleanly, the fact that they've all driven to the supermarket is just too depressing/terrifying for words.

Posted by Lyle on 19 August, 2016 at 9:10 PM

I agree with all of the suggestions but I would put them to one compulsory year of riding a bicycle or a tricycle.

Posted by delcatto on 20 August, 2016 at 2:56 PM

I agree with all of the suggestions but I would put them to one compulsory year of riding a bicycle or a tricycle.

Posted by delcatto on 20 August, 2016 at 2:56 PM

"If they had to drive a car with limited brakes, low power, requiring planning to get up the slightest of hills, no air bags, power steering, air conditioning, ABS or seatbelts, then they might just be better and safer drivers."

Naaah, they would still drive like flipping idjits.

(And give Mildred a pat on the bonnet along with a "Well done!" for me.)

Posted by la peregrina on 22 August, 2016 at 11:08 PM

I'm seriously thinking about getting the old Rovers out again next year. Slightly cold feet though - when they stop, I probably won't be able to start again.

Posted by Z on 23 August, 2016 at 11:24 PM