Are we to see lane discipline and well-mannered driving consigned to the archives. To become a historical fact to the younger generation and, an after dinner discussion topic for those of us old enough to remember it.
Or am I romanticising something that has never truly existed? Did I really see my father doff his proverbial cap to the AA Patrolman as we toured Tyneside, Durham and Northumberland in ‘Squirrel’ (Our faithful Morris Traveller)? Was there actually an air of excitement to be on the road, (either as a family, or during a father & son moment).
Now before you all tell me to climb down off my soapbox, at almost 7′ tall, I’ve little need for height enhancers and this is not a rant, merely (as the header would suggest, a discussion topic)
Recently, while I was sitting patiently at a junction; waiting for a Good Samaritan to let me out. It occurred to me that I couldn’t remember, ever, having had over 100 cars pass me by without someone offering the customary flash of headlights, or hand gesture (no, not that kind) to signal I had been allowed to join the cut and thrust of the A152.
At least it will all come right after I get on the M1 I told myself. How naive I was, four lanes of super highway, with traffic moving so slowly, you would expect it to be nose to tail, but no (and this is where I must add, that I do not claim to be the world’s greatest driver, simply, like many of you, an experienced, professional one) in some lanes and at many points we had gaps of anything up to half a mile between a vehicle and the one in front, with nothing in the lane to the left except the horizon.
When did we stop pulling back across to the left lane? Why do we think it doesn’t apply to us anymore? When did it stop being the right thing to do?
Why do we seem to be as eager now to block peoples’ progress and journeys as I recall drivers being to help and assist during my childhood?
Oh yeah, indicators, (no longer fitted to many cars admittedly?!?!) once a signal of intent, now a declaration of war. No longer does it mean, please be aware that I would like to pull over, now it has translated into; brake now, I’m coming across! (Ok, that may have been a bit of a soapbox moment) If this is a true reflection of our behaviour on the road today, and not just a confused memory in my ageing mind. How did we get here and, more importantly for me, how do we get back to what it once was?