Tuesday, 24 November 2015

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Winter: Time to bring in a drivers’ intelligence test

Heartfelt sympathies are due to anyone who has suffered flooding misery in this year’s unprecedented rainfall.

One of the wettest summers this century has been followed by an autumn of biblical deluges of rain – next up, the bitter cold of winter.

Some Cumbrian homes and businesses have barely dried out from the last lot before again having to set about clearing properties of filthy water – not to mention dealing with accompanying insurance worries, likely to worsen before they get better.

There will again be families unable to occupy their own homes this Christmas. Many more will be gripped by fear every time the heavens open. And that’s pretty frequently in this part of the world.

But while there can be no one now unaware of the dangers torrential rain will bring, what on earth is happening on our roads?

Morning darkness gives way to daytime gloom, before afternoon blackness returns and lashing rain leads to standing water, road spray from thundering lorries and overtaking cars – on winding unlit roads, no less. To say most will be driving blind isn’t too much of an overstatement. But how many are adjusting speed and distances to compensate?

Experience these last few days suggests not many at all. Terrifying bumper to bumper tactics seem designed to give careful drivers the heebie-jeebies. Overtaking at chilling speed in pitch darkness smacks of a death-wish syndrome. And as for cyclists without lights – well, don’t start me...

Now the emergency services have warned owners of four-wheel drive vehicles to cut the bravado behaviour and stop dialling 999 when they get into trouble while driving willy-nilly through flood water.

Emergency crews are warning motorists to remember that though their vehicles may be 4x4, they are not “amphibious”.

It beggars belief that drivers should have to be reminded – nay, pleaded with – in primary school speak, to use their brains in treacherous weather.

Maybe it’s time to add an intelligence examination to the driving test and have re-sits on an annual basis.

Have your say

i have lost count how many times i have seen a cyclist on the road when they have a cycle path they can use,red light what red light? again they think they don't count and don't get me going on riding 2 abreast making it more difficult/dangerious to get past!!!

Posted by djr on 11 December 2012 at 12:19

Andy Smith, I see your point about lights and batteries, and generally have two lights, but that wasn't the only point I was trying to make. Do you see that people on bikes might be getting bit of a raw deal? A lot of people will not ride a bike because they are frightened of the traffic which is a missed opportunity for a lot of good value freedom and fun.

Posted by Sam on 10 December 2012 at 22:21

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