I must have missed the memo from the Department of Transport, informing me that the road rules have changed. My first clue was the speed that most drivers are doing – usually around 10km/hr slower than the speed limit unless they are on the Ring Road or the open road, in which case they are doing at least 20km/hr slower than the speed limit.
I have gone home and searched on the Internet but cannot find any official ruling that drivers need to drive slower so I can only assume that this is a local decision that all drivers need to slow down especially if they see me on the road.
I would hate to count the number of times when I have had to drive behind someone who have decided that “Sunday driving” speed is now the “normal speed”.
“Sunday driving” speed is the name of the speed our car would go, when, as a child my family would drive around the streets of the town we lived in while inspecting the neighbourhood and other areas of our town. We had no television in our town and very little sport on a Sunday. So, it was a family affair on the Sunday afternoon to all jump into the family car and basically fill in a balmy afternoon site-seeing in the town or the surrounding areas.
It gave us a time to sit back and relax while letting the world go past (slowly) and as the town was relatively small it was also a time to wave to friends and neighbours and to stop and say “hello”.
There were many families doing the same and it was common to wave to someone you knew as you ambled past them as they travelled in the opposite direction. My father always kept an eye on the rear vision mirror and if someone came up behind, he would pull over and let them past.
On the Sunday’s we were not travelling – we would often see other families driving past and we would wave and stop what we were doing to say a few words.
The world was a lot slower in those days (I am talking about the 60’s and 70’s before man walked on the moon, before decimal currencies and before Whitlam was prime minister of Australia).
But somehow the public today has decided to try to re-capture these times and drive a lot slower on our roads. Now as much as I look back on the “Sunday drives” with a lot of nostalgia – I am not impressed with drivers who decide to create traffic holdups because they want to “dawdle”.
I am sure some of these drivers do not have rear vision mirrors (or they do not look in them) because no matter how much I get frustrated and wave my arms – it makes no difference to their speed. I have thought about beeping the horn, but I feel that once I started, I would never stop. I have thought about flashing my lights but feel that would confuse oncoming traffic and the police would not be happy with me.
So, I sit behind these cars, getting very frustrated and wait for the opportunity to either pass them or hoping they will turn off at the next intersection. I feel these people attract other drivers of the same mindset because as soon as the driver in front of me turns off at an intersection – another driver appears from the same street who proceeds to drive at the same speed.
There are many times I consider that it is a big plot by the general public – “Let us annoy Davo today”.
Well, I have to say, “It is working!!”.
In my next newsletter I will be discussing other areas of traffic frustrations such as turning right with the left indicator on, swinging to the right to turn left, speed of car entering a private driveway, not using lights when driving at night and other areas.