Monday, 25 August 2008

Dangerous rules of the road

A classic example of the rules setting the stage for conflict. I was in Brighton (Hove) trying to turn right from a "side" road into a main road. DfT guidance says conflict points should be minimised, but if you're trying to exit from a side road, you face conflict from both sides. I began to nose out to see past the line of parked cars to my right. Nothing coming, so I look left, and someone is bang in front of me, inches away, turning right across me, gesticulating. Don't let me go first, will you, even though it’s good-mannered and much easier for you to give way to a right-turner whose view is restricted. Again I start inching out, and whoosh! another car travelling at an inappropriate but legal speed goes uncomfortably close. If roads were fit, if all road-users had equal rights, people would show consideration and take it in turns. In a sense, those aggressive drivers are not to blame. They are just following the rules of the road, which create war zones with battle lines drawn by policymakers. They f*** us up, the engineers. They may not mean to, but they do.

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