Dangerous Drivers Dissected: Part Three

Posted on Tuesday 27th March 2007 at 00:00
In the long awaited third part of his award winning highly acclaimed series, Ignorminious continues his examination of the most dangerous acts of total stupidity seen on a regular basis on Britain's roads. In this part we look at why you shouldn't park on junctions, no matter how little space there is.

Like most people living in a residential area, I have to drive through a number of narrow, car lined streets each morning, before I reach the main road to work. Despite the small distances covered, this is the slowest and most stressful part of the journey, with cars coming at you from side roads all over the place and more near misses, dodgy manoeuvres and reversing half way down the street to let people through in five minutes than you'd come across in a month of driving on main roads.

With all these irritations lurking round every corner, it should be quite a challenge to decide which of them is the most anger-inducing hindrance to my morning drive. Not so however, since the worst of all these problems is the one stopping you from ever getting round 'every corner?: cars parked on junctions.

I think I placed myself in something of a minority when I was learning to drive, in that I actually read the Highway Code. In fact, I remain to this day the only person I know to have ever glanced at it, never mind read it cover to cover, as I did before my theory test. Had anyone decided to follow my example, they'd have discovered, as I did, that it is illegal to park your motor vehicle on the corner of a junction, immediately opposite a junction or in fact anywhere where you might obstruct other road users trying to navigate said junction.

I know it is one thing to be anal and quote the rules until someone listens and another to actually follow said rules, but something really does need to be done about this. The trouble seems to be caused by town councils, who still seem to think it is a good idea to allow houses without adequate drives to be built on the ends of roads, right by the T-junctions. What they don't seem to realise is that anyone who can afford a house, either to buy or to rent, can probably afford a car or two as well, the latter being a small fraction of the price of the former.

If you ask me, it doesn't take much brain power to work out that if you have a car, you are probably going to want to park it outside your house, at least some of the time, and that if driveways are not provided, this will mean parking on the road, regardless of how much disruption this may cause to other road users.

For some unknown reason, the sorts of people who buy houses on street corners are also the sort of people who buy big white vans, and the sort of people who buy big white vans are often the sort of people who aren't very good at parking neatly with two wheels on the pavement to minimise the amount of road space taken up.

This sort of parking has caused some of the most spectacular traffic jams I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of, usually on the sorts of roads that manage to combine corner houses with rows of parked cars, side roads with people pulling out who can't see round the corner and of course, much reversing to let people through.

I have, on occasion, sat at the same junction for 10 minutes, watching with much amusement as two cars (usually with awful drivers) attempt to pass each other at a crowded junction, before getting hopelessly stuck and pissing off everyone else on the road.

Sadly, the only solution I can think of is to either build houses with drive ways, or else limit who can buy certain houses. Perhaps limiting who can drive would be better. Better limit those pesky pedestrians too, while we?re at it. In fact, let's just throw everyone else off the road and then I can drive round as fast as I like.

Everyone in agreement shout Aye!

That was the last in the current series of Dangerous Drivers Dissected. Ignorminious returns later with a new series, for which he's yet to think up a catchy enough title.

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