There are a lot of road works going on in the area in which I live at the moment. When I say road works, I mean works that impact on the road, not the road actually being dug up. It’s actually the pavement that is being dug up and it all relates to the work being done by the water company, the same work that I had done a few weeks back when they isolated the water supply to my house and fixed the water leak under my house. I have absolutely no issue with the water company, the contractors or the work being undertaken.
For some reason I know not, the roads in my area are fairly narrow but the pavements are wide, as wide as a single carriageway in the road in some places. I suppose that’s why the cars nearly always park on the pavement and the council marks out parking spaces on the pavements. It seems daft to me but I suppose it’s cheaper than widening the roads.
So, I hear you ask, what’s the problem then? I’ll tell you what the problem is. It is the selfish motorists who park their cars leaving no room for pedestrians to walk along the pavement so we have to walk in the road. It’s bad enough for me, but what about people with buggies and the like? These works are taking place on both sides of the road so if you’ve got a buggy, you’d be crossing the road all over the place. That’s hardly safe, is it?
I should probably say at this point, lest you think I am one of the anti-car brigade, that although I don’t own a car at the moment, I love them, and I hold a clean licence and do still drive, so I have as much affinity with motorists as I do pedestrians (it’s just cyclists I hate, on so many levels, but that’s another story entirely). However, I do get extremely irritated with selfish motorists, especially when they park in a selfish manner. It is common for me to walk along the road cursing the idiots as I walk past their houses, whether they are in the front garden or not.
Being a motorist and being a parent are not mutually exclusive roles, and I therefore fail to understand why, as a parent, and a number of these selfish people are, I’ve seen their offspring, you would be so selfish as to potentially endanger the life of someone else’s spawn. Shame on all of these ignoramuses.
And here are a few facts about cars and driving that you may or may not know:
• The Highway Code was launched in 1931;
• The Compulsory Driving Test was introduced in 1935, and it cost 7 shillings and sixpence (about 38p in modern money);
• My Dad didn’t ever take a driving test, he got his licence before they became compulsory;
• Driving examiners do not have a quota of people that they can pass, if you are up to standard you will pass;
• The pass/fail rate averages at about 50% across the whole of the country;
• If you use your own vehicle in which to take the test, it must have a rear view mirror fitted for the examiner’s use;
• The first petrol powered auto-mobile was invented in 1886 by Karl Benz. It was a three-wheeled affair and was open to the elements;
• The first electric car was built in 1888;
• Mass production of auto-mobiles had begun in France and the United States by 1900;
• By the 1950s, the UK was the second largest manufacturer of cars in the world, after the United States, and the largest exporter of cars. We’d dropped to twelfth place by 2008.
© Susan Shirley 2014
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