MJ on Sat'day: Gladstone's drivers aren't too crash hot
IS IT just me, or is bad driving an out-of-control epidemic?
I know people have complained about bad drivers since cars ran on kerosene. But I swear, in the last year or so, I am seeing auto insanity at a level I never thought possible.
A couple of days ago I drove from Gladstone to Seventeen Seventy - over 131kms each way.
The stuff I saw on just that one trip would have set my hair on fire... if I had any.
First there was the scooter jerk. The heavy traffic on our goat track had slowed in one spot to maybe 20kmh, but the jerk figured he shouldn't have to wait in line like everybody else.
So, he gunned his little machine to its pathetic full speed, squeezing his little scooter butt between the cars and truck drivers, down the line to his important destination.
Drivers beeped their displeasure to no avail.
But then the congestion cleared and the traffic resumed its normal pace.
Except now the jerk was in front of us and we had to follow him doing 25 kmh.
I finally got past him and was cruising at the posted speed, singing third harmony with Tom Petty, until I had to jam on the brakes to avoid hitting a Bathurst Ass Car. These guys are all over the place.
They can't tolerate being behind anyone, so as soon as a car-length opening appears they dive into it to gain a couple of metres advantage. No turn signal, of course.
The Bathurst Ass Car was weaving back and forth through the line, squeaking by bumpers and fenders.
After all the Bathurst manoeuvring: maybe they got to the beach earlier.
Another time in Gladstone, the light just ahead of me had turned yellow, so I pulled the 4CC van to a stop.
But the Red-light Rummy behind me had other plans.
He ripped his steering wheel to the right, lurched around my van and half off the street, and zoomed through the red light in front of me just in time to avoid getting clipped by the crossing traffic.
I really thought it was going to be a T-Bone, and I don't mean steak.
Running red lights is an art form around here. Nearly every time I slow down on the yellow light to stop at a red light, two or three idiots continue through and the drivers behind me are ticked off at me.
"Doesn't that bozo in the 4CC van know there's a three-second safety buffer between the red light and the green going the other way?"
It's anybody's guess why bad driving has become so commonplace, and so suddenly.
Maybe it is rebellion against authority.
It could be we have a new generation of drivers who grew up on participation awards and continuous self-esteem building, who can't be bothered with traffic laws that might interrupt their social media participation.
Our silly rules just don't apply to them.
If you have had a nightmare experience, phone me on Monday morning at 4CC on 4972 2700 and share your story.
My advice for a long and happy life: When the light turns green, count to five, and then look both ways before you start.
You can hear Michael J Bailey on Your Station 4CC weekdays from 5am.