I was out with a pupil this evening (OK, 21/08/08 – I was moving the blog) and in the space of less than 15 minutes we had three examples of very dangerous overtaking.
First of all, we’re driving down a 60mph road actually doing 60. This silver car (X615 OGO) with two canoes on the roof rack overtakes the people carrier behind, then us, and then a truck further ahead. All in the face of oncoming traffic (and the road is an accident black spot). He was doing at least 80mph.
Within 2 minutes we reached the the roundabout at end of this same road and I’d asked my pupil to turn right. She’d seen this other silver car (KA05 HFW) coming up behind at great speed and – as learners do – she therefore hesitated for a second in moving to the right as the road became two lanes, even though she was already indicating. This was all the female **˜driver’ (and I use that term very loosely) needed to push past. At least the boyfriend in the passenger seat saw the words I mouthed at them as they went by. I doubt the woman was aware (or cared much), driving as dangerously as she was.
Finally, as we make the right turn and accelerate up to 70mph we’re being tailgated by a green VW Polo (V687 FUY). At the next roundabout the female (again) driver tries to overtake on the roundabout in the wrong lane (fails, as my pupil is a good driver and is making good progress). Once we’re off the roundabout, the Polo driver then tries to overtake at a set of traffic lights (fails again, as my pupil is now doing 40mph in a 40 zone). She finally manages to overtake in the face of oncoming traffic less than 200 metres before she turned left into a housing estate. It’s hard to fathom how the minds of this kind of person work.
You see, there are a lot of people in this world who really shouldn’t be allowed out unsupervised at the best of times – even though it is politically incorrect to dare say this – and yet they somehow contrive to pass their driving tests when they are clearly abysmal drivers with abysmal attitudes and ought to be on a register somewhere for their own and everyone else’s safety. So they see a learner and their peanut-sized brains carry out the necessary basic computations: learner car = slow = overtake. The problem is, if I’m driving (or a good learner) then the ‘slow’ part isn’t correct, but they are unable to correct their calculations. Their tiny minds scream ‘overtake, overtake’ and they cannot alter that.
At least they tend not to stay in the gene pool for very long.