Around lunch time, I was returning to work from the post office. I had rounded a blind bend, obscured by overgrown trees, when a car appeared heading straight towards me. There wasn’t enough time to avoid the collision and he ended up with my bull bar planted in his grille. The impact was minimal; there were no injuries, and only minor damage to both cars.
I looked up quite angrily to see a very similar face greeting me. He wasn’t at all impressed that I was on the wrong side of the road. The only problem with his theory was that, while I was indeed closer to the right hand side of the road, it was a single lane roundabout, and he was going the wrong way. I mouthed the word ’roundabout’ to him, while drawing circles with my fingers like a slightly confused Wiggle, and he gradually realised what had just happened. His anger turned to embarrassment.
This situation poses two questions, how do these people get their licences? I’m not quite sure that question is answerable, so I’ll move on to the next. What drugs are the government taking?
The intersection in question is a touch obscure, there are 4 main exits in less than 180º of the full circle, and only a small drive way on the opposite side. I’ve seen many people taking the short cut and going the wrong way. Most of these had occurred while the island was the usual grass patch surrounded by a gutter.
Enter some genius from the council who thinks, ‘You know what would be nice? If we planted some trees and bushes. It will be pretty, and in touch with nature, and we won’t have to mow the lawn. It looks better, we save money, everybody wins.’
As it has become more and more overgrown, it is now effectively a living wall. A law abiding motorist no longer has a chance to see the incompetent, impatient fuckwits going the wrong way. I managed to spot another culprit recently, and simply waited for him to exit. This was only possible because he was driving a 4WD ute hauling an oversized pallet of goods in the tray. Today’s occurrence involved a regular sedan, so it became unavoidable.
The only positive from the neglected mess of an intersection was that it provided a scrap of paper, on which to take down the offenders details, in the form of a discarded envelope in the pile of litter that has accumulated since the abandonment of regular maintenance.
Given bad drivers exist, why would the authorities deliberately create a situation which only increases the chances of, even ensures, an accident? My conspiracy theory is that what would appear to the unsuspecting eye as a supreme example of idiocy, is actually a well calculated economic plan.
Minor incidents like these have no repercussions, at least in terms of injury, and as such there are no safety concerns. But there is the matter of the repair bill, and if the cars were equipped with multiple air bags, as all new cars now have to be by law, there is a chance some would have been deployed, creating an excessive repair bill that effectively writes off the car. People then claim their insurance, fix their car or buy a new one, and the insurance companies increase their premiums, a nice bit of economic stimulus all round. The car dealers and panel beaters generate more business, the insurance companies can justify their extortion, and the government takes a slice from every pie. In short, they want us to crash.
Perhaps that could answer my first question I put aside earlier. More incompetent drivers on the road equals more accidents.