A Driving Instructor's Blog

Assholes

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This one involves a van driver, so not so much an ‘arrogant’ tosser as a borderline human. More of an above average monkey, I guess.

Driving through Mapperley on a lesson, and this dickhead emerged from The Wells Road into traffic from both directions. It was a Specially Fittted Transit, registration MV62 VUG.

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And another one in the same location at Wilford Lane off Loughborough Road.

This time, white Vauxhall Astra Energy, registration number DK13 RVP. Why not just get in the correct lane to start with, instead of forcing your way in later? And I love how these prats think a signal gives them overall priority.

The problem is, they do it because it’s a learner driving. I’m also worried when it happens, also because its a learner driving – and if they panic, anything could happen.

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Nothing annoys me more than people cutting in, and all the more so when they are doing it purely to gain advantage by using the wrong lane, speeding, and putting people at risk.

The Junction with Wilford Lane off Loughborough Road is a common location for these arrogant prats. This one was a black Lexus NX 300H, registration number FN67 EDK.

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Nottingham City Council is trialling the use of e-scooters in the city. Everyone knows that approval will be given for them to be introduced, no matter what negatives the ‘trial’ throws up. Indeed, in the last couple of months in Nottingham, there was the case of a visually-impaired woman who was injured by one, and more recently a woman sustained suspected fractures after one hit her.

There have been several cases of riders themselves crashing into things, or having things crash into them. In one recent case, a taxi collided with a scooter, and the rider sustained life-threatening injuries. Another recent one involves claims by a woman who said the scooter snapped as she was riding it. In another recent case, the police had to swerve to avoid a student who was drunk and riding one just before he crashed. And in another recent case, an 8-year old was found riding one.

This is just a very small sample of very recent cases just in Nottingham. Travel further afield, and the story repeats in all places trials are being conducted – plus anywhere where scooters are being used illegally.

Last week, I was on my way to a pupil in Beeston. As I turned on to University Boulevard from Dunkirk, I noticed a scooter in the right-hand lane. It quickly registered that he was travelling at the same speed as the traffic. He was too far in the distance to pick up properly on the dashcam, but he was zipping in and out of traffic, all of which was moving freely at 30mph. When I reached the 40mph section of that road, he appeared to cut in front of a lorry, and then shot off. He was actually going faster than me in a 40mph zone!

But anyway. I caught a couple of scooters on the dashcam tonight, and this is the best example of karma you could get.

I’d picked a pupil up in Clifton and we’d just driven away from his house. As we approached the end of the road to join Swansdowne Drive, I noticed a scooter go past. As we got closer, another followed him. We turned out on to Swansdowne and the scooter riders were all over the road in front of us. They were on the wrong side, even near a parked Police car. I warned my pupil to be careful, as they were doing it on purpose to prevent us getting by.

The best part was when the lead scooter tried to zip on to the pavement and missed the dropped kerb. He went flying arse over tit. I seriously hope he hurt himself – injury is is the only punishment these twats have to worry about, since the Council and the Police won’t do anything. But it was perfect karma.

Neither of them was old enough to have a provisional licence – one of the requirements for hiring a Wind scooter. Neither was wearing the provided helmets. Both were riding illegally, and outside the terms of Wind scooter trial.

And Nottingham City Council will approve them.

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Many moons ago, I wrote an article coining the term ‘the Audi lane’. It went semi-viral at the time. Here is a perfect demonstration (for Audi drivers) of how to use it.

I was on my way to pick up a pupil and was driving along Wilford Lane. The speed limit is 30mph there, but as we all know, speed limits are only ‘advisory’ for Audi drivers. The black Audi (registration number SAZ 2723) was in the right-hand lane (which is a right-turn only lane) at significantly more than 30mph. And it was raining heavily.

He (or she) stayed in the right-hand lane on the roundabout, and then – without any use of indicators whatsoever – turned left off the roundabout into the estate (which is straight ahead, and requires the left-hand lane on approach if you’re doing it even close to properly).

This is absolutely the correct way to use lanes and roundabouts if you are an Audi driver.

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Notts COVID Cases (EZGIF Creator)Well, we have a vaccine, but we’re not out of the woods yet. We’re close, but not in time to ‘save Christmas’.

Actually, people are pissing me off more and more all the time. There are still those who believe it is all a hoax, closely followed by those who believe we should ‘just get on with life’ as if the virus didn’t exist. Many refuse to wear masks, and many refuse to comply with any restrictions. And the media encourages them.

My local newspaper keeps publishing ‘updates’ on cases in the Nottinghamshire area, and these frequently contradict each other depending on whether they are reporting daily or weekly figures, or if they publish them just after a government announcement. The real problem – apart from the obvious fact the journalists who write the articles clearly don’t understand what they are saying – is the nutjobs who read it and then comment on it, because they mainly consist of the anti-vaxxers and deniers.

The animated GIF at the top of this article shows how cases have varied between the beginning of October and last week across Nottinghamshire. Each frame represents the one-week rolling average taken from the Government website interactive map, The white areas are labelled as ‘suppressed’ on the Government website – which could mean anything from ‘not measured’ to ‘deliberately withheld’ (and given that the white areas exist from as recently as December, and in some cases relate to areas desperate to get out of Tier 3, that latter possibility isn’t as unlikely as it might seem).

There is no pattern whatsoever. It’s like a kaleidoscope. And yet the aforementioned nutjobs immediately see any of the paler areas (including the white in some cases) as justification for opening up and carrying on as normal, egged on by the newspaper in question trumpeting loudly at any low figures after a period of high.

The simple fact is that you can be pale green one week and purple the next,

The other annoying detail is the vaccine rollout. I said we had one at the start, but I am suspicious. You see, my mum and dad are 84 and 92, respectively. Both have COPD, and they are therefore in the higher risk categories. I came across this Vaccine Queue Calculator today, and ran both my parents’ details through it. It suggests they will be vaccinated between 22 December and 18 January. I’d not have any major issue with that a) if it turns out to be accurate; and b) if it wasn’t for the fact that the BBC was trumpeting about how Prue Leith had been vaccinated earlier this week.

I have no issue with Ms Leith being vaccinated and wish her well, but I cannot understand how or why she has been done so soon. She’s ‘only’ 80 and she is working normally – which suggests no earth-shattering underlying health issues that no one knows about. She’s also pictured queuing and walking into the clinic normally, and I can assure you neither of my parents could do that – even if they’d been asked to do so. There are people who are considerably higher in the Priority Groups who haven’t been contacted yet – this 108 year-old lady only got it today (yes, she’s in Wales and not London, but it’s still odd).

Having my parents done is all the more important, since I’m not due until March next year – whether I have an underlying health condition or not!

Then there was a story which suggests we might be throwing vaccine away. The US has scrapped an order whereby one sixth of the vaccine was being discarded, saying it was a ‘labelling error’. From what I can gather, each vial contains a clear 5 injections-worth, plus a bit extra to make sure that can be achieved. It’s the ‘bits extra’ that are being discarded. The reasons why this was happening are quite complex if you’ve ever worked in the industry, but they are primarily bureaucratic in nature (unless you ask a pharmacist).

There is no reason whatsoever – other than bureaucracy – why the extra bits can’t be combined and used. That’s what this story is detailing. Fortunately it is pharmacists and GPs who are advocating it, so a lot of the potential bureaucracy is stripped away. But it raises the question of what the UK has been doing, and indeed it would appear that some vaccine has been wasted. It is likely it still is.

Pfizer has said:

At this time, we cannot provide a recommendation on the use of the remaining amount of vaccine from each vial; this is a matter for regulators to advise on. Excess vaccine from multiple vials must never be pooled.

If it’s from the same batch there is no solid reason why it cannot be pooled. Even if it’s different batches there’s still not much reason (unless you speak to a GP or pharmacist before they thought of it first).

As a result of the aforementioned nutjobs, we need the vaccine quickly. No wastage, and no f***ing about giving it to celebrities first. Just get it out so we are safe from the idiots. Christ, I’ve got until March to have to dodge them. Then, you won’t have stories like this.

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BBC: COVID-19 vs Flu 2020People really are such utter idiots. Especially when they have an agenda to push. The latest was some clown trotting out the old line about how there have been ‘no flu deaths this year’ so the COVID-19 statistics must be wrong or made up.

Being a scientist, I prefer facts to made up stuff. And the facts are shown in the chart above, which I copied from this BBC ‘factcheck’ article. It was a response to the comments made by virus denier, and draws on official ONS data.

The darker bar represents flu and pneumonia deaths for this year up until August. You can see how it gradually fell as the year progressed, which is what happens every year as we leave one flu season and move into another. The pale bar represents COVID-19 deaths. The raw data can be easily viewed on the ONS website if you know how to search for it. Incidentally, if you follow that link, make sure to click for the latest release if there is one – these reports are continually updated with new figures as they come in.

It’s worth noting that ‘influenza’ is actually a fairly uncommon direct cause of death. I’ve noticed this when looking through other ONS data previously. It is usually pneumonia which is given as the cause, since it is the main complication arising from flu.

In 2020, until the end of August, there were 14,000 deaths from flu/pneumonia. There were 48,000 deaths due to COVID-19.

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Nottingham COVID-19 HeatmapLook. You brought it on yourselves – and passed it to the rest of us – so grow up and start behaving like adults just for once!

Nottingham has entered Tier 3 of restrictions because of escalating COVID-19 infections. For the last month, we’ve had report, after report, after report of students partying and ignoring social distancing and mask rules. At one point, 75% of all Nottingham infections were among the students and that age group. Even today, police have raided parties of more than 30 people in student residences.

The image above is a ‘heatmap’ of infections in Nottingham throughout October. It goes from yellow, through red, purple, and black to indicate higher infection rates. You can clearly see how it was the 16-29 year age group which was infected the most. It should come as no surprise – even to those doing Mickey Mouse courses at Nottingham Trent University – that if they ignored the rules and behaved like twats, it was going to get passed on and spread among the rest of the population. And that is exactly what we’re seeing now.

Nottingham hospitals are seeing more cases now than back in April. The government SAGE group has announced today that the country is already four times ahead of the ‘worst case scenario’ they predicted for winter. In recent weeks, students in Nottingham have been quoted as saying ‘you’re spoiling our fun’ and ‘we should be having the time of our lives’ to police, who have broken up house parties being held illegally.

So it beggars belief that this article should appear today. Some quotes:

Molly Watkiss: it’s a little bit harsher for us, which I don’t really find fair

Tarah Jackson: We’re being blamed for the rise in cases

Kayleigh Lieu: Students are getting more and more frustrated

How is it ‘harsher’, Molly? You mean you can’t go out and get pissed whenever you want? And Tarah, you’re being ‘blamed’ because you – your group – IS the cause. You incubated it without keeping it in an incubator! And Kayleigh, you’re frustrated? Well, let me tell you how frustrated I am at YOUR group’s antics which have put my parents’ lives at great risk again. I mean, precisely what part of the term ‘lockdown’ or ‘restriction’ is it that you can’t get your immature head around and realise that it applies to you, too? Apart from your own group, no one gives a f**k that you’re ‘paying £9,000 for it’. It was obvious that this was going to happen, so more fool you for paying it with that risk hanging.

Rest assured, ladies. When this is all over, you can live in the knowledge that each of you has at least some of the blood of more than 50,000 dead people on your hands, because without any doubt whatsoever your attitudes (and probably your actions) have made this situation far worse. It wasn’t your fault you came (back) to university, admittedly, but unless you have been isolating, wearing masks, and not going on freshers’ events, you most certainly are at fault somewhere. And the numerous news articles clearly show what happened in reality.

The heatmap shows exactly what was always going to happen, but it illustrates the age factor with knobs on. In early October, the authorities stated that infections were rising dramatically, but that unlike in April it was among the younger – less likely to die – groups. This was waved around as some sort of victory banner. But in the absence of any form of lockdown – and even less common sense among that affected age group – it has been spread to the wider community. And that wider community is the one that IS more likely to die.

Just to close, this article covers what happened in Nottingham last night – the last night before Tier 3 came in. And this companion article shows the ‘type’ of person involved. Normal members of society – and especially those with the same body aerodynamics as Thunderbird 2 (among which I am numbered) – do not go out in fancy dress, and especially not right now.

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Virus image…so here’s a link to an outright conspiracy website, which is claiming that the UK Government ‘knows COVID-19 doesn’t exist.’

I just read precisely that on social media.

The website in question – which I’m not going to link to, because the owner needs medical help and not derision – is written by a:

Critically Acclaimed Comedian, Playwright & Filmmaker | Blacklisted ‘Potential Subversive’  Revisionist Historian | Recalcitrant Philosopher  Bankster-Busting Nemesis of the Rigged System

But it’s not a conspiracist website. Honestly.

I’m not sure what is worse. That people like this haven’t been locked up yet, or that people who follow them are allowed to teach people to drive.

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Virus imageNottingham has the highest rate of COVID-19 infections in the country. We were put on Tier 2 this week, and it looks very much like it has been decided that we go to Tier 3 on Monday. That’s serious. More serious than Tier 2. And it was already serious before that.

The biggest cause of COVID-19 spread is people not following the rules (at the very least, it is people carrying on like nothing is wrong, which is what happened during summer and well into the early part of Autumn). Certain neighbourhoods in Nottingham are unfortunately populated by people of limited general intelligence (some are populated by people of limited actual intelligence, but this isn’t just about Broxtowe). I’m talking about the kind of people who, for whatever reason, think they know better than a world filled with genuine, qualified experts on infectious diseases and treatment.

One of the biggest contributors to this group is students.

Every year – without fail – Nottingham has huge problems at the start of the university term as students arrive and immediately blow huge amounts of money getting pissed and going around in childish costumes for freshers’ week. The streets where they live are literally paved with… broken glass. And, if you’re lucky, full bin bags of garbage that get ripped and kicked everywhere. And fast food packaging. And gas canisters and discarded sharps. And no matter how anyone might try to deny it, all this is true of many student areas. I see it with my own eyes when I pick pupils up there. It isn’t all of them, of course. But it is a hell of a lot of them.

A couple of years ago now, a house with a maximum occupancy of (if I remember) ten held a party which 250 people attended. As a result, a wall collapsed – pretty much exploded from the pressure of people – which could have been much more serious than it fortunately was. The event was typical, even if the outcome was more extreme than usual.

Nottingham University is currently bigging up the fact that its number of COVID-19 cases is falling. Yes, any fall in new cases is good, but when the University still has three times more cases than the county as a whole, let’s not kid ourselves that there isn’t really a problem. Because since the term began, there have been numerous reports of students crowding on to trams with no face masks and no distancing when the pubs shut at 10pm. There have been numerous reports of students holding house parties – the most publicised one being the one where the organiser was fined £10,000. When three times as many of these people is infected, there is a serious problem. And still they keep saying ‘the majority are behaving’. Stop that! It doesn’t matter if it is technically ‘the majority’ who are behaving. What’s far more important is the size of the very large minority who are behaving like arrogant prats. And that is why we have the damned problem!

That brings me on to the latest story illustrating how ‘the majority’ is behaving itself. Bear in mind this is on top of all the other stories about partying, boozing at weekends, crowding trams, and the idiot a couple of months ago who was also fined for holding a party.

In this case, four complete wankers/wankerettes were each fined £10,000. When police turned up to a reported party, despite being initially told no one was there, 30 people were found hiding in a house. That was when these four came out with the immortal lines that police were ‘spoiling their fun’, and that they should be having ‘the time of their lives’.

THIS is why we have a problem. I only hope they are on Mickey Mouse courses, because God help us if they’re medical students, or ones studying proper subjects. Fortunately (in a way), they’re Nottingham Trent University students – albeit third year – so the likelihood of them being on serious courses is somewhat less. But you can’t be certain – this is the same University whose biology students killed a hedgehog several years ago by attaching so many tracking devices to it it couldn’t move. And Nottingham Trent University refuses to reveal how many positive cases it has ‘to protect’ the reputation of these morons.

In another report on the same story, NUT says it is ‘investigating’, and the outcome of that means the students involved could ‘face a range of sanctions, up to and including expulsion.’ Frankly, the only acceptable outcome IS expulsion. They lied to police and engaged in an act which will inevitably result in further deaths (although those deaths won’t be able to be pinned on these twats, and NTU will defend them to the hilt if it keeps them).

Expel them now.

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