A Driving Instructor's Blog

I was on a lesson with a pupil this afternoon and we were driving along the Colwick Loop Road near Netherfield. I was teaching my pupil how to anticipate traffic lights changing by looking well ahead, easing off the gas, and avoiding stopping if necessary.

FN09 HFD - Metallic Powder-blue Vauxhall AstraAs we passed through the lights at Road No. 1 I noticed a car in my rearview mirror (a metallic powder-blue Vauxhall Astra, reg. no. FN09 HFD) approaching at speed. It didn’t actually slow down, even though the two lanes were merging into one, so I put my fingers on the steering wheel to make sure my learner didn’t panic and steer into the kerb or brake hard (as learners often do when they see someone cutting them up).

The car behind was clearly driving well in excess of the speed limit, and the only thing that stopped him going past us, even after the merge, was the fact that he’d have run head-on into oncoming traffic (or hit a central bollard). He’d misjudged everything by just about as much as it was possible to, and nearly killed himself in the process. I pointed to my head – I couldn’t believe that he’d been stupid enough to even contemplate what he’d attempted (fortunately, my pupil hadn’t seen him – even though she should have). I noticed that the driver was elderly, with an elderly female passenger.

Anyway, as we continued I’d instructed my pupil to follow the signs towards Southwell, which meant staying in lane at the Victoria Park junction. The car I mentioned previously was behind us at those lights. As they changed we moved off normally.

As we moved off I noticed him swing out to our left – into the lanes for Arnold and Gedling. I half expected him to go flying past us on the left, but he didn’t. As we approached the cut off point at the next lights we could hear a long horn sound. It turned out that this senile idiot had tried to undercut us at a speed equal to or less than what we were doing, and didn’t like the fact that he’d been unable to. God knows what was going through his dementia-riddled brain to try this stupid manoeuvre.

As we stopped at the lights, the moron – both were obviously OAPs – flew out across the back of us and into the right hand lane.

I gave him a right mouthful at this stage. My pupil was driving absolutely safely and normally, and nothing she was doing was in any way wrong. Except to this dementia-case of a driver.

On the other hand, absolutely everything he was doing for the 60 seconds I was aware of him was dangerous, illegal, and plain wrong. He was speeding (before, and after as he shot off), he tried to dangerously overtake, and he tried to dangerously undertake (the failure of which made him dangerously overtake again). He saw a learner in front and decided to get past at all costs. He exhibited road rage when he failed (twice). His aged brain couldn’t judge it right in the first place, and was even less capable of dealing with it when it started to go wrong.

I could see the two of them mouthing off to each other as they sped off – I hate those Darby & Joan car double-acts where the weak-minded old man is told what to do by the harridan he’s married to at the best of times. No doubt she was equally incorrect about who was behaving like a senile imbecile, and who was driving sensibly and correctly. I bet they’re still yapping about it now.

Regular readers will know I’ve been supporting Cassie’s Law for the last 12 months. Cassie McCord was killed by an elderly driver who should have already been taken off the roads by force due to his appalling eyesight and other age-related issues (i.e. that he’d had an accident only days before the one involving Cassie).

The driver I encountered today falls into the exact same bracket. Driving the way he was, all it would have needed was someone like Cassie being in the wrong place at the wrong time and they’d be history. It is unbelievable that scum like this are allowed to remain on the roads. This fossil was totally and completely wrong, and at his age totally incapable of getting away with it or even of judging it properly. Fortunately this time he just made himself look like a prat.

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