Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekend driver!

For nearly six months, I have driven constantly to and from work on a regular basis. Added with my previous experience of one year weekly commuting between the medical hall of residence and home, I think I am in a position to comment on the state of the roads today.

I'm not stating I am a perfect driver but I have improved over the past half year. Regularly driving, even if it is the same route at the same time of day, does help improve your driving skills. I also drive quite economically, trying to get the best fuel economy out of my VW Golf. That means driving a bit slower than I previously did and knowing when to switch to the left hand lane to allow other road users to overtake me.

Also by being more efficient, I have to be more aware of other drivers and the road conditions, leading to be a much safer and more self-aware driver. That cannot be said for all drivers. You would expect the more you drive, the more courteous and safer driver you are. It does not necessarily work out that way. I think the drivers with the worst manners on the roads are the professional drivers. These are the drivers who are on the roads most of the day as their job dictates it. These include people who transport goods, minibus drivers and taxi drivers. However they are the least likeliest to give way when other cars need to merge and break every known traffic law.

There are a few acts on the roads that I really hate which I will go into much detail about:

1. Using indicators

Whether it is to turn right or left or to change lanes, everybody should indicate with their lights where they are going. It doesn't take much effort and it doesn't wear down the batteries. So why don't more people do it? It is probably down to sheer laziness.

It is a matter of courtesy for other drivers to let them know where you are going. Also it is a matter of safety. You don't want a car suddenly pulling in front of you from the next lane. For pedestrians, you would want to know which way the car is turning or going so you can safely cross the road.

2. Giving way

I hate people who don't give way. Whether it is two lanes that are merging into one or to allow somebody out when they have been waiting for quite some time, you should be courteous enough to allow other cars out when it is necessary. I do believe in karma and I do believe it will bite back or reward you later.

3. Tailgaiting

Maybe not quite a great offence but it is bloody frightening if somebody is following your car pretty closely. Especially if the vehicle is a heavy goods lorry. You dare not brake, you're more likely to increase your speed and you spend more time looking in your rearview mirror than looking at the road ahead.

4. Queue jumpers

My dad those this a lot. When there is a queue on the highway/motorway, he uses the other lanes to queue jump. I hate these discourteous drivers. You should get in lane like everyone else.

5. People who use mobile phones

A lot of Mercedez Benz / BMW drivers in Hong Lok Yuen do this. Just because they think they are driving at a slow speed with little traffic in the vicinity, they think they can talk on their mobile phones. But there are still other road users, there are still pedestrians around and the traffic laws of Hong Kong still apply. Just wait until you get home to take the call.

Remember, not only you are using the roads - there are other drivers on the motorways.

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