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80% of driving in Bermuda is worrying about the other idiots on the road

For several years now my pet peeve has been drivers who are at an intersection, see traffic coming at them, wait until the last minute then pull out. We talk about driving with care, caution and courtesy but this is simply UNSAFE and places oncoming road users, especially persons on bikes, in enormous danger. More on this after the top 20.

Now back to this week’s topic: Let’s stop pulling out in front of oncoming traffic. I’ve been wanting to write about this subject for a few years now and my decision to do it now is because I was the beneficiary of someone pulling out from an intersection a little over two months ago.

I was riding my moped into the city one day when a lady who was at an intersection, waited until the last minute, pulled out of that intersection, realised that she couldn’t beat me out, then stopped. I hit her car and by the grace of God I am blessed and lucky to be alive.

I totaled my bike, flipped over her car, must have landed awkwardly, tore ligaments in my knee, bumped my head, rolled a bit, obtained some road rash and lacerations and needed medical treatment. Having just had knee surgery (my third on the same knee), I can speak somewhat authoritatively on what happens when people pull out in front of others. You can kill them, especially if they are on a moped. I’m now recovering but thankful to God for keeping me alive.

Some weeks later I observed another rider incur the exact same treatment I enjoyed, in exactly the same spot. This guy was really speeding but it doesn’t matter; if you pull out in front of someone you are in the wrong, whether they are speeding or not.

The other part of this that ticks me off is when people manage to pull out in front of you, then they drive a lot slower than speed at which the traffic was moving before they pulled out.

A friend once told me that 80 percent of driving is worrying about the other idiots on the road. There is a lot of truth in that statement.

So what do we do about this? Well, the police should charge people who do this with dangerous driving or driving without due care and attention or both, in instances where people can be proved guilty of same and especially when an accident is caused by people pulling out into the traffic.

Also, private citizens should report incidents of dangerous driving to the authorities and employers in cases where people are driving commercial vehicles in a dangerous manner.

We could also include this in driver education and on driving tests and we should also put up a few more ‘frequent accident spot’ signs.

But the moral of this story is that with the large and growing number of vehicles on our roads we must be more careful and courteous, use defensive driving, think safety first and slow down (I know I need to do this as well).

We must also remember that we have to think about other road users and plan for their carelessness, dangerous driving, texting, talking on cellphones and doing any and everything likely to cause harm to anyone using the roads.

Here’s to safer driving………DJLT.

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Published September 28, 2012 at 7:00 am (Updated September 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm)

80% of driving in Bermuda is worrying about the other idiots on the road

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