A Driving Instructor's Blog

Bad Drivers

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Some time ago, I posted a video titled (on YouTube) “Worst Woman Driver I Have Ever Seen“. This one is right up there as a contender for that title!

Four and a half minutes of perfect comedy. I love it how she nearly gets in at one point – then goes further out again. The space is so large you could actually drive into it forwards! In a bus.

Disclaimer: I’m just posting this for information. No offense is intended to anyone of the female gender ;-)

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I took the car in for its routine service today, and I was driving along the Ring Road over Clifton Bridge. Traffic was heavy, but free-flowing.

I’d gone on to the bridge from the Nottingham Knight/A52 end into the left lane over the old bridge, and traffic was coming up from the Clifton/A4534 side. I was behind a lorry, and there was nothing behind me – and I don’t just mean there was a big gap: there was literally nothing behind me at that point. I casually noticed a dark red Skoda Felicia (reg. no. P563 DRB or P568 DRB ) moving very slightly faster than me in the next lane to my left.

When we got to the end of the bridge where the middle lane he was in goes down to the roundabout, the imbecile just pulled in front of me into no gap whatsoever. He nearly forced me off the road and into a barrier. I sounded my horn long and hard but it didn’t stop him at all.

His cheery wave changed a little when he saw me using universal sign language to describe what a dickhead he was.

The best part was that he had a kid in the front passenger seat – no child seat.

I think he then reached down for a piece of paper – presumably to write my reg. no. down – and was doing this with the kid sitting alongside him. He was going above the speed limit, and he then cut in late again in froint of someone else close to the Dunkirk Flyover to go down University Boulevard.

People like this shouldn’t be allowed to breed. Unfortunately, they’re the ones who breed uncontrollably.

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I was driving over Trent Bridge this afternoon (around 4pm) and I glanced in my mirror at the turn off up Wilford Lane whilst waiting at lights. A woman in a red FIAT (reg no. FE53 EGL ) was going at the phone text message she was writing like you wouldn’t believe! And she did exactly the same thing again at Compton Acres.

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In all the years I’ve been doing this, I have never had a genuine bust up with a pupil. Until now.

I had a pupil pass his test the other day. He’d previously failed (a couple of months ago) for not responding to a car behind him when reversing round a corner. At the time, he was adamant he wasn’t going to take the test again and that he was going to drive anyway (he’d already been caught and banned for this previously). He admitted that it was his own fault he’d failed – the car had stopped, but he then paid no further heed to it and it had decided not to wait anymore.

I asked him if the examiner was OK about it, and he said “I could have smacked him one “. It was impossible to reason with him – he turned out to be one of those people who is as rough as bricks, can’t handle failure, and blames other people.

Basically, he can drive. He drives typically of someone with loads of confidence but no finesse. He could not do a single manoeuvre, and he only took three 1 hour lessons with me to that point (I hate acting as a hire car service, and refuse to do it if I can see it coming).

Anyway, before this test he took no further lessons at all. We were running through the manoeuvres before going to the test centre, and on one of them he was doing it totally wrong. I tried to explain how to do it and he snapped “look, you’re doing my f****** head in, I can’t be doing with this “.

At that point, I said “Fine! You’re doing MY f****** head in. I don’t get paid to put up with that kind of behaviour. Do it your own way. ”

For the whole session, he was not looking over his shoulder before moving off, he pulled across three cars at three successive roundabouts, he was driving too slow (last time, it was too fast). And so on.

But he passed with quite a high number of faults (a couple more would have been a fail). I couldn’t believe he got away with four for not looking over his shoulder! And he got several for driving too slow (adequate progress). I can see how the examiner saw him as a confident driver, and I expect that is what did it, but when I have excellent learners fail for a single mistake when they have otherwise been perfect, it does make me a little angry.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not criticising the examiner. And I’m glad this guy passed simply because I would have refused to give him any further lessons. But it’s a pass that gives me very little pleasure. I just hope I never get another ungrateful little sod like this ever again.

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This one is doing the rounds on the forums at the moment. It happened back in January on the A1 near Wetherby, just outside Leeds, and although it appears that the Police treated it simply as a normal RTA (road traffic accident) at the time, the emergence of this footage seems to have reopened the case. Not surprising, really – that lorry driver does not deserve to be out alone on foot, let alone in something that size.

It’s funny some of the comments being made on those forums. Apparently, it is a ‘hoax’ – I’d just draw your attention to the BBC story to answer that one (not to mention the other news channels which have picked it up)

One ‘expert’ insists that the lorry is in the 3rd lane – it’s clearly in the 2nd (they’re not supposed to use the third lane in the UK, so no doubt this was intended to be an attack on the lorry driver. Just a shame it was incorrect).

On another forum, another ‘expert’ points out that it is illegal to use your mobile phone when you are driving (driving instructors love this one – whenever footage appears online they always start showing how clever they are by asking how it was filmed). It is clear from the blurred view we have of the driver as the lorry passes that the passenger is doing the filming.

Only two things are certain: the lorry driver is going rather fast, and he has a car stuck in his front.

EDIT 28/05/2010: It just goes to show that you can’t make assumptions about anything. There is a story in the Daily Mirror today – the driver of the lorry, John Tomlinson, has actually been hailed a hero instead of being banned. It turns out that the woman, Rona Williams, in the car he is pushing had undertaken dangerously and had admitted this is statements to the police at the time.

The traffic commissioner, Beverley Bell, said:

“It is absolutely clear that you could not see the Clio as you were driving…

“You showed, in my view, coolness and a clear head. I feel it is entirely inappropriate for me to take away your licence.”

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In addition to the morons being towed by that other moron in the 4×4, here’s another prat without two brain cells to rub together.

It’s illegal and it’s dangerous. But hey.. HE wants to do it, so it must be all right, eh? The fact that this happened in Essex shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Last time I was down there you could always tell when a left or right turn was coming up because there was a burnt-out car on the verge to mark the spot.

Let’s hope the Police throw the book at him, too… except this might class as normal behaviour down there. In any case the Police reckon they can’t use the video as evidence. Yeah, right! What with one of them driving dangerously, one of them hanging out of the window, and the other acting illegally… you couldn’t make it up, could you?

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Another one from the papers – covered by quite a few, but this one from The Sun.

In most papers it says “police are searching for the pranksters”. But in the Halesowen News, it would appear someone has done the work for the Police already. The imbecile’s name appears to be Daniel Pearce.

Pearce said:

We’re just having a bit of fun. It’s a bit dangerous, but so what. I haven’t been nicked yet but I don’t care even if I am.

“At the end of the day if the police do anything it’ll be a slap on the wrist but it’ll be worth it.

“I’ve got a shotgun licence and they only give those out to responsible people like me.

“Of course I’d do it all over again but I’d go faster next time. I’ve got nothing to regret or be sorry about. I’m a good driver.

This pondlife has a shotgun licence? Let’s hope the Police review that decision, because he doesn’t deserve to be allowed out unsupervised, let alone to own a gun. If he behaves illegally in a 4×4 (yes, Danny Boy, what you did was illegal), what is he likely to get up to with a shotgun?

One of the chimpanzees Pearce was towing (Shaun Crumpton) said:

The first time I got in I thought I was going to die. It swerved round the corner and almost hit a car but everyone was having a laugh.

Yes, and just think if a child had walked out from behind the car you “almost” hit to see what was going on.

I would imagine that reading and other such activities don’t find themselves on Pearce’s list of skills, but I wonder if he is aware of the case from last year where a father killed his son doing something similar? I’m sure Pearce and his kind will argue it wasn’t the same. But then, it never is, is it?

Let’s hope the Police view on this is a little different to what Pearce thinks it will be.

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Another one from the web. This one shows a couple of twats (it’s in London, so you’ll have to put up with the annoying nasal drivel coming out) driving in an extremely dangerous manner in February last year.

Notice how they have no regard whatsoever for the pedestrians at the crossings, or the motorcyclist to their right just after that. Even if they were driving safely, you could hardly say the driver was concentrating on the road.

The best part is that the idiot driving let the idiot filming show his face – so hopefully, the Police will have had something to say to him. This has to be one of the best examples of that type of low-life scum who should never be allowed out unsupervised, let alone get behind the wheel of a car.

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