Posted by: blogone | July 30, 2006

The re-education of the Irish driver

While we made our trip home from Naas yesterday my brother mentioned that the standard of Irish drivers and their driving is something that you need to see to believe.

There has been a major expansion of the road from Co. Dublin to Co. Kildare which is due to finish soon, one of the reasons is that the Ryder cup is taking place at the K Club golf course later this year.  Anyway as we drove back my brother pointed out that there were now three lanes on the road, or motorway, open and all of the cars were in two lanes.   There was not one car in the inside lane.

Why?

Is it because Irish drivers are not used to driving on roads with more than one or two lanes?  Or is it a psychological thing?  Is it because they consider the inside lane a ‘slow’ lane and therefore not for them?

I’m not an expert in these matters, and I’m not going into a lot of detail on this post.  I’ll say this, I would consider the standard of driving by the average Irish driver as being bad to dangerous.  This is based on what I see on the roads everyday.   The attitude of Irish drivers is one of ‘I’m okay, you’re not okay’ when it comes to driving.  Here’s an example:
One evening I was driving home from work.  I was joining the M50 from Blanchardstown, the M50 was very busy as usual and as a result I was driving slowing along waiting for a time to merge with the other lines of traffic.  An opportunity presented itself, I signaled and prepared to merge.  I leaned forward to look in my wing mirror (I always do this out of habit, to be sure I’ve not missed anything that might be in a blind spot), and I saw a van race up to close the gap that I was about to enter.  I thought this was funny, but in a tragic way.  As the van passed me, the two gentlemen inside were looking over at me with a self-satisfied grin on their face.  I didn’t respond, I thought to myself, ‘why bother’.   I gave them a polite but firm look that conveyed the message, ‘your must be very proud of yourself’.

The car behind the van let me pull in, I gave a wave to acknowledge the gesture and them moved into the outside lane.  This would make it easier for me to get to the easy pass lane at the toll bridge.  As I passed the van, I looked over at the two guys in the van, they were looking at me and for some reason they had a look on their faces that I had in some way done them a great wrong!  I pulled away and went on with my day.

There were no markings on the van.  If there had been any sign writing on the van to advertise a business then what sort of message would that convey to any potential customers, i.e. me.

People just don’t think enough about their actions.  And that is just sad.

What can we do to re-educate the Irish driver?  How do you change attitudes like this?

Where do you start?

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