On the topic of driving

imageEvery day at 13:30, I sit down in my mini-bus and start the tedious journey in to town, to fetch the children from school. The shortest route there is a highway with speed limit 80 km/hour and I say it is tedious, because depending on who is out on the road, it can take 20 minutes to drive to school or it can take 30 or more. It all depends on who ends up in front of you. The driver you get in front of you, is the one you have to travel behind till you reach your destination. Unless you get to escape that person, at the entrance-round-about of town, where they might head in to the town center, while I have to head down to the south end of town.

You sit on this narrow road that winds with the landscape,left and right, a little bit up and down hill, just enough elevation to hide a meeting car, which would have you sent to the next world, if you meet that car in the wrong lane! The highway is frequently frequented by tractors, whereupon we all become part of this Guinness world record-breaking snake, all the way to town. But they are a part of the scenery that you have to accept, when you decide to move and live in the country side. They are a nuisance, but part of the picture of all that is nice about country living. Right? Of course right! But they are not the real problem are they? No, you think about it:

Why is it, that all the drivers who are afraid of on-coming traffic, always get outimage on the road, during rush hour traffic? I always get behind one of these drivers, usually of a certain age or gender. The ones in this category on my highway road to school, are the men who have passed 65 and I guess, retiring suddenly made them scared of the world? And the women in the category, are usually women with a fellow woman passenger, them both being in their 50s-70s. I guess they can’t have a nice conversation going and at the same time meet an approaching car?Every time a meeting car approaches, these drivers drop their speed 30 kilometers/hour and I have to step on my break with almost a screech.

imageWhy is it, that people who have no intention of driving the speed limit, never let you pass, before they turn on to the highway? They throw themselves out in front of you, even though they see what speed you are coming in, and you are forced to hit the breaks. You speed up only to discover that it is one of THEM! A member of a certain club! You sit there and your anger just increases by the second till you finally decide to risk your life and that of your child, in order to get around this traffic danger of a person. BUT members of this club will not let someone around! So they speed up at the same speed as you do, to get around them, and finally you have an on-coming car and have to fall back behind said slow-speed maniac! And having accomplished their task of stopping you, imagethey once again slow down to their original speed. And you sit there boiling, feeling like Mr. Bean when he tries to walk past the elderly in the staircase during “Mr. Bean was in room 426”. Norman Bates’ style!

Why is it, that people who can’t drive and talk in a mobile phone, insist on doing so? One week, I sat behind the same car three days, and I soon learned the pattern to why this person drove 50 km/h when it was 80, and 20 getting close to the school, when it was 50. Because this man was constantly on the mobile phone. I could not believe it, what are the chances of getting behind the same person that many days during a week and the person always heading where you are heading, there not being any escape? He would coast in towards the lights in town, in walking speed so that we both failed to make the green light! I am sorry, but if this doesn’t create road rage, the following Malmö/Lund pattern does. Even my mum reflected on it and wondered what was going on, if there had been an accident or the police was lurking about. I had to inform her that no, this is how people in this shire are  driving! You come full speed at 110 km/hour on the Autostrada, like my grandmother always called it, since that was the name for it when it was built in the 1930s. 15-10 kilometers before the next exit, people suddenly drop the speed to about 70-80 km/hour. Why? WHY? In order to get ready for the exit of course! Minutes away at that speed, I guess they are scared of … what? Missing the exit? So take the next one! Missing the opportunity to creating a major traffic accident? Spoil sport! It never fails, it is always the same!!!!

imageToday, it took half an hour, to get to the school because at the village exit, by the round about, this little car sat waiting for better times I suppose or delighting in the landscape? When I pulled up behind him, he finally drove to the right but he did not speed up for a long time. So I finally decided to take a chance since I had promised babysitting D., to hurry home, so he would not be late for piano. The car in front of me which had been content with driving 70 km/h till then, forced me up to 100 to get around him. And then half way to town, I caught up to two Sunday stroll drivers who I was stuck behind for the rest of the journey there. On the way back I sat in a snake behind a miniature tractor, whose driver found delight in showing his power by driving right in the middle of the road so that NOONE, including the regional bus, could get around him. When two of us finally managed to get around, we just substituted the tractor for a car towing another car! It really was not my day on the road today! And in my mind, I sat there thinking back to my driver’s education days: Didn’t the book clearly state that driver’s should make an overtake, a safe one for all drivers on the road? Did it not tell you to focus your eyes ahead (and not on on-coming traffic in the opposite lane, your passengers or your mobile phone)? Did it not tell you to keep with the flow and not hold up traffic since it is dangerous? Mine did!

 

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