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Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Old Oct 21st 2006, 8:01 pm
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Default Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

This was in my local paper by a whiny yank who is moaning about the driving in the UK. There was also a wanky picture of him posing with his shiny Mini Cooper. I'm sure you lot can supply me with some suitable replies to him...

[FONT=Arial]Some say the best way to judge the character of a country is how it treats its most vulnerable populations-children, minorities, Vermont state employees, and the like. Others suggest that spectator sports offer a revealing glimpse into the cultural mindset, while still others insist that popular entertainments - movies, television, video games-are the best barometer of a people's collective psyche.

I say look at how they drive.
<<snip>>

Last edited by Bob; Oct 21st 2006 at 9:46 pm. Reason: got a link instead?
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Old Oct 21st 2006, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Originally Posted by Russ&Jayne
This was in my local paper by a whiny yank who is moaning about the driving in the UK. There was also a wanky picture of him posing with his shiny Mini Cooper. I'm sure you lot can supply me with some suitable replies to him...

Some say the best way to judge the character of a country is how it treats its most vulnerable populations-children, minorities, Vermont state employees, and the like. Others suggest that spectator sports offer a revealing glimpse into the cultural mindset, while still others insist that popular entertainments - movies, television, video games-are the best barometer of a people's collective psyche.

I say look at how they drive.

The English have many charming qualities. They remain unfailingly cheerful under any circumstances (royal postman to drenched American during the latest downpour: "Mawning! Bit a drizzle, wha? Cheers!"); they are relentless when giving directions, insisting (for example, on shouting in the middle of a crowded bus, "Can anyone tell this nice young man the proper way to Upton-Snodsbury?"); and they address virtually everyone-regardless of race, religion, gender, or national origin, friend and foe alike-as "mate."

They drive, however, like drunken maniacs. No exaggeration. I have lived in cities like New York and Los Angeles where pedestrians are fair game and have visited the likes of Italy and France where brakes are just an option on most makes and models, and I am here to tell you that these places are East Montpelier on a quiet Sunday morning compared to the insanity on the typical English country lane, not to mention the dual carriageways, motorways, "A" roads, "B" roads, and "through" roads (I have no idea what these mean or why they bother with them since, as far as I can tell, they all have exactly the same speed limit-none).

My house, for example, fronts on a winding, two-lane road just outside a quaint village center. The posted speed limit is a sedate 30 miles per hour. Most take it at 70 or higher. The problem is that bicyclists also use the road, including lots of little old English ladies on rickety two-wheelers with wire baskets full of milk and biscuits looking especially cute before they become road kill. There are no shoulders on English roads, so to avoid the cyclists, the cars simply swerve into the opposite lane, forcing all the oncoming cars to brake madly to avoid killing all concerned. How these lovely ladies survive to old age is a miracle.

The other obstacle to the speed-crazed Englishman is the ubiquitous "speed camera." Nearly every village has one. A little sign with a picture of an old-fashioned polaroid camera announces that your speed and registration are being recorded. The fines are pretty hefty too, so nearly everyone slows down until safely past the camera.

It tells you something about the English character that until recently these warnings did not exist. The public outrage was so great, however, that the government was forced to change policy. It's not, you see, that the English don't believe in rules. They do. Obsessively. It's just that when it comes to driving fast, they don't believe there are any.

Nothing symbolizes the English driving experience, however, like the yellow light. In America and most other semicivilized places, traffic signals change from green to yellow to warn drivers that the light is about to turn red. When you think about it (not that I recommend it), the yellow light exerts a wonderfully soothing influence. Its message is one of calm and peaceful coexistence: let's everyone slooo-w down, take a breather, let someone else drive for a while.

In England, it's the opposite. Here, red lights change to yellow just before going green. The effect, predictability, is to turn every intersection into a mini-Daytona 500. When the light flashes yellow, every engine starts revving, preparing to blast off the line and devil take the hindmost.


The only thing that seems to prevent widespread carnage is the ingrained English sense of fair play. A good example happened the other day. Racing down a narrow "B" road in my faithful Mini, I approached a car parked well into my lane. Naturally rather than slow, I swerved around it and nearly ran headlong into a lorry coming the other way. The driver, visibly irritated, rolled down his window and sternly scolded me: "Oi! There's a queue 'ere, mate!" To which I at least gave a proper English reply. "Thanks," I said. "Good luck to you, mate!" And then I floored it.
I haven't driven in the UK for a while, but I thought British traffic lights either go Red->Green, or Green->Yellow->Red ?

It sounds like he's not used to the country roads... he should try Ireland!
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Old Oct 21st 2006, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

A smost of you know I have made driving my life. I have driven in about 20 country's all over Europe, even Iceland, I have driven in Morrocco, I have driven in about 15 US states and have been based here driving for the past 6 years.
Without a shadow of a doubt the Worlds worst drivers are in Vermont
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Old Oct 21st 2006, 8:38 pm
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hmmmm...nice
 
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Originally Posted by Patrick Hasler
A smost of you know I have made driving my life. I have driven in about 20 country's all over Europe, even Iceland, I have driven in Morrocco, I have driven in about 15 US states and have been based here driving for the past 6 years.
Without a shadow of a doubt the Worlds worst drivers are in Vermont
you obviously have not been to the UAE...every 37 hours, someone dies in a road accident here in Dubai...only Saudi has higher numbers (I think)...
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Old Oct 21st 2006, 8:43 pm
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who turned out the light?
 
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

I think he is funny. It always amuses me to see a foreigner write about the UK.
We all know though that the worst drivers by far are americans (I still say in WA but know everyone here will have a different opinion)
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Old Oct 21st 2006, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

I live in New Jersey, what can I say
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Old Oct 21st 2006, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Still don't compare to VT !! ...... Yesterday I was driving towards NY on route US4 through Vermont, after being held up by fools who just stop in the middle of the road to chat with a friend going the other way, following others who almost stop dead because something is comming the other way and going down the Rutland side of Killington mountain fully loaded and on the engine brake doing a carefull 45 mph then having some idiot seeing me comming and pulling out right in front of me to drive at 30 mph regardless of the fact that to stop a 40 ton truck going down a really steep hill so that I didn't kill them in any impact, just so they didn't have a truck in front of them, then stop to look at the f**kin pretty leaves, not caring that they are so close to being wiped off the face of the earth by a vehicle so big and heavy .......... amd regardless of the fuel and polution needed to get that vehicle up to speed again after they have decided to take a road to the left meaning the whole thing has to stop dead behind them ....... Do I have to go on ?
I could add that on the aproach to the mountain where I really need a good run it it another green licence plated idiot sat at exactly 50 mph, then slowed to 40 mph just before the start of the climb, forcing me to drop a gear, then took off up the f**kin mountain at 60 mph leaving me struggling and down to 25 mph for 6 f**kin miles of steep mountain road.

Last edited by Patrick Hasler; Oct 21st 2006 at 9:24 pm.
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Old Oct 21st 2006, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Originally Posted by anotherlimey
I haven't driven in the UK for a while, but I thought British traffic lights either go Red->Green, or Green->Yellow->Red ?

It sounds like he's not used to the country roads... he should try Ireland!
Red
Red and amber
Green
Amber
Red
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Old Oct 21st 2006, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

The guys a complete tit bag, short and simple.
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Old Oct 21st 2006, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Originally Posted by Bob
The guys a complete tit bag, short and simple.
You guys sure can dish it out ( http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=403034 ), but you can't take it...
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Old Oct 21st 2006, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Originally Posted by Hiro11
You guys sure can dish it out ( http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=403034 ), but you can't take it...
Not true my old septic mucker, drivers in the Midwest are pretty good. On the East coast they suck like a sucky thing.
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Old Oct 22nd 2006, 12:16 am
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Originally Posted by Sally
Red
Red and amber
Green
Amber
Red
Shows how much I paid attention!
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Old Oct 22nd 2006, 12:18 am
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Originally Posted by Hiro11
You guys sure can dish it out ( http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=403034 ), but you can't take it...
Theres plenty of incompetent drivers in the UK. I had the pleasure of dealing with them professionaly on occaision. However I can honestly say that nowhere (Spain, France, Italy included) scares the living shit out of me on the roads like Florida does.

I'm thinking this guy is basing the entirety of English driving on that of London and the surrounding areas.

"English roads have no shoulder?"...eh?

And as far as traffic lights are concerned...getting honked at for daring to stop on a red light, 5 cars going through after the light goes red...just blasting through regardless of light colour....welcome to Florida.

And FUCKING MOBILE PHONES and "To Go" coffee! Jesus...we may drive fast in the UK but at least we're actually paying attention to it (on the whole) and not our freaking mobile phones!
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Old Oct 22nd 2006, 12:29 am
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Sequence for UK trafflic lights:

Red

Red and amber (yellow)

Green

Amber

Red

That yank article was really funny

Cheers
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Old Oct 22nd 2006, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: Ignorant Yank comments on British Driving...

Originally Posted by gruffbrown
Not true my old septic mucker, drivers in the Midwest are pretty good. On the East coast they suck like a sucky thing.
Even in the mid-west people rip away from lights like its a drag race - I suspect yanko who wrote the article drove an automatic here and a manual in the UK - you really notice the race from the lights when you're having to take it through the gears yourself.
And as for the tailgating and hogging on the outside lanes - i have never seen anything like the stuff that goes on over here.
Also the freeway speed limit round here is often 55mph - in these zones you will not find a single car NOT guilty of breaking the law/
I know for a fact that a lot of yanks freak out in the UK because our roads are so 'narrow' - that is clearly this guy's problem.
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