Friday, June 4, 2010
Dear Fellow Drivers
In these days of epic weather, freak twisters, flash flooding, and soothing sideways rain I have one message for the residents of Sydney hitting our roads. It’s called ‘indicating’, how about we try and use it people?
Now I am the last one in a position to get narky about the driving of others, I’m no saint as my car can attest. The craft of vehicular maintenance is as lost to me as Megan Fox is to the Transformers franchise – which is to say, I rejected it because it seemed overrated. Every time I manage to scrape, puncture, scratch or dent a part of the Red Wagon I shake it off because the engine still runs. I have spent more money on the crisp, white Subaru of the woman I reversed into at full speed in a parking lot than on my own crumpled heap (largely because she ran the dining hall at the university I attended, and I’ve always had a strange affinity with eating).
But I do know the basics, otherwise I wouldn’t have a license (a fact that continues to baffle several of my family members). My education in all things motoring came via 3 people. My father was first off the rank when he took me to a vacant field, opened the bonnet of the car and talked me through how the whole thing worked. He also informed me I would only learn on a manual in case I found myself “trapped in the Sahara one day with a tribe bearing down on me, and nothing but a ute for my escape”. My mother also gave it an ill-fated crack. After spending half an hour laughing hysterically as I stalled my way down a 2km road and 30 seconds screaming as I took a sharp corner turn at 80km/hr and span us about with the smell of burning rubber she suspended her involvement from the case.
Then came my professional driving instructor – let’s call him Yoda. Yoda’s first rule was always, under every circumstance, now matter what indicate. He reasoned that if I was going to do something stupid behind the wheel, the least I could do was give my fellow road warriors the forewarning not to go near me for their own safety.
It’s simple really. I may have once tried to bend Big Red around a concrete poll in an abortive parking attempt, I may have lost traction at 70km/hr on a dirt logging trail and ended up facing the direction I had been coming from, and there’s the distinct chance I once accidentally snapped the handle off the driver’s door of my car as I checked it was locked, sending me tumbling backwards into the street… but I have never caused an accident with a fellow driver.
Say it with me gang, Indicate. Not many of you were doing it today, there are several of you out there who never do it. If you promise to try it out for kicks, then I promise to keep doing it, meaning you’ll be safe from me for a little while longer.