Almost a Darwin award contender

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Friday 5 February 2010 6.45pm
Travelling north along TBR in the back of a taxi today I saw the closest brush with death that I have ever seen.
We had just pulled away from the lights at the junction of Tooley/TBR behind a transit type van when I noticed movement at the corner of Queen Elizabeth St./TBR to the right in my peripheral vision.
A cyclist was illegally turning right toward the bridge from Queen Elizabeth St.
As he cleared the dividing railings in the centre of TBR he swayed left, and collided with the right side of the van that was ahead of the taxi that I was in.
He fell to the road but apparently was unhurt, (save for his dignity), for he got up quickly to examine his bicycle.
The taxi driver stopped and gave the van driver his cell phone number in case he needed a witness, but if ever someone had a death wish it was that guy on the bicycle.
Friday 5 February 2010 7.54pm
Hi, Debrajoan,
Pardon the pun but, re cyclists, I think we've been down this road before on the site. However, they never cease to amaze us, do they? I've got a 'right turn only' junction around the corner from my road and on Wednesday I stopped at the junction, looked to my left, and then proceeded. Nothing wrong with that you might think....Wrong! As I turned right there was a bloke on a bike heading straight towards me. We both had to swerve to avoid a collision. He was, of course, going the wrong way down a one-way street, but it didn't stop him from shaking his fist at me and shouting a few obscenities. As a teenager I can remember being stopped by a policeman because the front light of my bike had died. He gave me right rollocking. I swore blind that it was working when I'd left home, which was the truth, but he was having none of it. How times have changed. These days cyclists are a law unto themselves.
Monday 8 February 2010 8.31pm
chalkey wrote:
How times have changed. These days cyclists are a law unto themselves.

Other parts of the country still have traffic laws. Even other parts of London do. Southwark doesn't have rules of the road.
I don't think cyclists are any more guilty than other road users though.
At the risk of sounding like a Daily Mail reader I do wonder if part of the problem is so many people who passed their driving tests in other countries. I think we're the only one where vehicles are supposed to stop if you're waiting at a Zebra.
Monday 8 February 2010 10.18pm
You're right, Beetroot, it's not only cyclists, but that was the thread of the moment. I've had my little rant on this site about teenage schoolgirls stepping out in front of my car without looking, because they've had their mobile phone glued to their ear, and about other motorists who never use their indicators and expect everone else to be mind readers. Road sense, courtesy and good manners seem to be a thing of the past. In a nutshell, it's a sign of the times and this old dynosaur is finding it hard to accept.
Thursday 11 February 2010 6.12pm
chalkey wrote:
Road sense, courtesy and good manners seem to be a thing of the past. In a nutshell, it's a sign of the times and this old dinosaur is finding it hard to accept.

Chalkey, like me, you will no doubt recall when a million years ago if you came up behind another motorist, or encountered one coming toward you, who had forgotten to switch his/her lights on, all you had to do was give them a quick flash or two of the headlights and they would immediately put them on and wave a thankful hand to you, or perhaps flash their lights as a thankyou. Not now, it seems that today's motorists are either pig ignorant, or would die a thousand deaths rather than switch their lights on in response to the person signalling them, for that would acknowledge their forgetfulness and perhaps make them feel inferior somehow.
Thursday 11 February 2010 6.57pm
Yup, been there too, Tom. And have you ever noticed the wierd phenomonon whereby us motorists switch our lights on the moment dusk begins to descend, but some will drive around in the murky half-light of early morning without them? Is it a matter of principle I wonder, whereby they won't put there lights on because it is officially morning and not evening? I would venture that the same misguided principle applies to some of them when it's foggy.
There was a chilling story going around a couple of years ago which, if I remember rightly, originated in Nottingham. Apparently there was a gang there whose prospective memmbers, as an initiation test, had to drive around at night without lights. If anyone flashed them, they had to purseue that motorist and fire a gun at them.
Friday 12 February 2010 7.17pm
chalkey wrote:
Yup, been there too, Tom. And have you ever noticed the wierd phenomonon whereby us motorists switch our lights on the moment dusk begins to descend, but some will drive around in the murky half-light of early morning without them? Is it a matter of principle I wonder, whereby they won't put there lights on because it is officially morning and not evening? I would venture that the same misguided principle applies to some of them when it's foggy.
There was a chilling story going around a couple of years ago which, if I remember rightly, originated in Nottingham. Apparently there was a gang there whose prospective memmbers, as an initiation test, had to drive around at night without lights. If anyone flashed them, they had to purseue that motorist and fire a gun at them.

The gang initiation thing came up in a message on the Mobile Data Terminal screen in my cab a couple of years back in the form of a warning to all drivers on the circuit.
I remember at the time hoping that it was an urban myth.
As for lights on or off in times of reduced daylight visibility, mist, heavy rain, snow, etc, have you noticed that the fairer sex are often remiss in that department? Either no lights at all or tiny sidelights that no one could see.
Naturally not all ladies are guilty of this, but an uneven majority of them seem to be.
I have ABSOLUTELY NO DESIRE to get into a them/us war on this subject, but having driven for a living since I was seventeen, my take on lady drivers is this:
There are the 1% who are so good that they make most men look like amateurs, then there's the other 99%.
There appears to be no grey area with them, they are either fantastic or dire.
Mrs. Pepper is a fantastic driver but she makes Michael Schumacher look like a snail with her leadfooted use of the accelerator!
Friday 12 February 2010 7.37pm
I had the best one ever tonight. A car coming towards me with just his fog lights on. Not even head or side lights, just fogs. Obviously not on purpose, (one would think,) but he rerally should have been more aware. I say 'he' but I didn't notice the gender.
Saturday 13 February 2010 1.42pm
As for lights on or off in times of reduced daylight visibility, mist, heavy rain, snow, etc, have you noticed that the fairer sex are often remiss in that department? Either no lights at all or tiny sidelights that no one could see.
Naturally not all ladies are guilty of this, but an uneven majority of them seem to be.
I have ABSOLUTELY NO DESIRE to get into a them/us war on this subject, but having driven for a living since I was seventeen, my take on lady drivers is this:
There are the 1% who are so good that they make most men look like amateurs, then there's the other 99%.
There appears to be no grey area with them, they are either fantastic or dire.
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Your desire not to get into a them/us war is duly noted Tom, but you are walking a dangerous line there sir.

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