Monday, January 17, 2011

An open letter to Melbourne drivers

Indicators.  Use them.  Their purpose is to signal your intentions so I know what your dumb arse is about to do.  I do not read minds.  If I am pulling out into an open lane at a t-intersection and you choose that moment to change lanes without an indicator, I have no way of knowing this.
Similarly, if I put my indicator on, I am coming across.  Don’t act surprised, swerve all over the place, beep your horn/flash your lights, and generally act like you were cut off.  No, I don’t particularly care if I cut you off, either.  If I need to get into that lane, it’s going to happen.  It’s not personal, so don’t take it that way.  Nor is an affront to your personal dignity, manhood, ego or overblown sense of self-importance.  Yield.
Learn how to merge.  One of the key factors in merging is pacing yourself to the traffic, so you will be at the right speed to slide across.  If you arrive 30km/h slower or faster than the traffic is doing, neither of us will enjoy the experience.  Deal with this.  If that means slowing down, your ego will survive the experience.  If it means giving your rustbucket the berries up the onramp because you need to go from 40km/h to 100km/h to merge effectively, chances are said rustbucket will similarly survive.
Rain.  It happens.  Melbourne drivers react one of two ways to rain; they either (a) turn into complete drooling cretins and drive like my dead grandma, or (b) they actually drive more aggressively than they would if traction conditions were normal, which they are not.  The laws of physics pertaining to friction, grip, traction, momentum etc continue to apply to you, and yes – that includes self-important people in small BMWs and Audis would just *die* if they couldn’t squeeze through that gap.  With luck, one day you will.  Preferably not around me.
If think you are going to be a smartarse by blazing up the turning lane then cutting in just before the exit, then you have a surprise coming.  You might be able to intimidate some people into letting you queue jump.  I will not.  I will do everything in my power to ensure you’re going to have to slam on the brakes and come to a halt in that exit lane (at which stage the queue isn’t going to let you back in for a long time), or even better take the wrong exit.  This might improve your attitude for next time.
Chopping from lane to lane makes you look like a wanker and gets you nowhere.  I’ll be pulling up next to you at the next set of lights anyway.  Yes, I realise you saw daylight in the next lane when that truck or 4WD was 0.01 seconds late in pulling away, and you just had to reef the wheel over and jump in.  Hopefully the next time, there will be another smartarse in the lane on the other side and you’ll both lose a quarter panel, a bumper, a headlight cluster and if I’m lucky, a bonnet.  Yes, the resulting smash will slow me down.  It will be worth it.
Playing doof-doof rap music on your subwoofers in heavy traffic will get you dragged out of your car and beaten.  With luck, people will line up for a go, if only to lower their blood pressure.
No, I’m not impressed that you have a BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc, and it certainly doesn’t grant you priority status on the road either.  I have plenty of insurance, a lifetime rating one, and your car is going to cop a lot more damage than mine if it comes to it.
Traffic light grand prix starts just costs us all fuel, tyres and engine wear.  I’ll still be pulling up next to you at the next set of lights regardless.
And just some random observations:
  • Asians cannot drive for shit.  They are best stayed well away from.
  • Indians are not much better.
  • Taxis should be given the widest possible berth.  Not only are they almost exclusively driven by Indians, but they don’t own the car, and they don’t much care about how it looks either.
  • Why do people stick their goddamn GPS smack in the middle of their freaking windshield??  Asians are brilliant at this.  It must wipe out a huge chunk of their central forward visibility.  It’s that sort of idiotic crap that will get us California-style no-GPS laws.

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