I consider myself to be a safe and courteous driver on the
peaceful manic roads of the United Kingdom. On a regular basis I allow other drivers in to the flow of traffic, I don’t run red lights and I don’t speed unless it’s for work purposes and safe to do so under blues and twos. Today I met someone who managed to push all the wrong buttons in the right order which lead to me fuming behind the steering wheel. This post is not an excuse for me to rant and rave at all motorcyclists on the road, there is an equal number of lunatic car drivers, cyclists and pedestrians on the same roads. Unfortunately today’s misery was caused by a motorcyclist who felt the need to hurl abuse at me on the M25. Please also bear in mind this is completely from my point of view and just like the media, there must be two parts to every story; unfortunately I won’t be able to give you the second part should you want it.
The M25, M1, M3, M4, M40 and M6 all have something in common and no, not that they are motorways. They are all now known as managed motorways with controlled speed signs / camera combinations, the idea being that should there be heavy congestion or an accident that speed can be reduced and any clever dicks are logged and fined appropriately. It seems more and more that these signs are left on permanently or in the case of the M1 and M25, automatically activated at the same time of day causing slow down and travel chaos. An example was yesterday whilst heading north on the M1 towards Bedford, cars were travelling at 70mph with no congestion in sight; 15:30 clicks by on the clock and from Hemel to Milton Keynes speed restrictions signs illuminate as 50mph (60mph if you’re lucky). There was no congestion warranting this but instead the obvious knowledge of rush hour traffic starting and the ability to catch some speeding motorists. Of course that final statement is what I believe, it may be that the road teams genuinely believe it is for safety but I will leave that to you to decide.
Back to the road rage. I was driving up the M25 towards the M1 at 60mph thanks to the glowing gantry signs (in this case the traffic was heavy and it did warrant it) when a incredibly angry, red Kawasaki motorbike began flashing me from behind. Let me say at this point that the vehicle in front of me was 4 car lengths away and driving at 60mph, I was in the middle lane, the inside lane was near stationary with traffic coming off for Heathrow. I gently applied my brakes to signify ‘back off and stop riding my arse’ which lead to far more flashing from my friend the motorcyclist. It’s now I started to worry I might have something wrong with my car so began to slow looking to merge over to the hard shoulder. Next think I knew I had him level with me signalling for me to open my window which I promptly did.
‘What F*** are you driving at this speed for you stupid C***.’
I responded (angrily mind)
‘Can you not see the f***ing speed signs? 60 mate, I’m doing the limit’
‘F*** off, I don’t have to follow those on this’ He points to his bike before pulling his helmet mouth piece down and moving out in to the outer lane, opening up his throttle.
Other than being flabbergasted, I was livid, who the hell thinks that red circle speed limits don’t apply to them? I don’t suffer fools gladly but I do have the ability to cool my head before it’s too late, I just couldn’t believe someone could be so rude for absolutely no reason. I was doing the speed limit, I wasn’t obstructing anyone illegally on the road and he had all the space he could have wanted in the outer lane. Why would you be like that? One day this man may well do it to the wrong person and find themselves pushed off the road and left for dead. Yes, that might be going from one extreme to another but you never know what people could be capable of should you push them on the wrong day.
I am not labelling all motorcyclists as bad drivers, especially when I have seen the atrocious standard of driving by some car drivers. The problem is that people pay more attention to the poor drivers (of any vehicle) than the good and that immediately labels everyone else. Not all cyclists run red lights but once you see a couple do it you can’t help but think they all do.
Pedestrians don’t think you’re getting out of it lightly! Stop walking in to the road when there are crossings a few yards up the road. We have green man crossings to stop cars etc.. running you over, just because the shop you want to go is across from where you are it is not safe to dodge traffic. America has the right idea with making jay walking illegal.
Now for some Road Rage we can all enjoy.