21 Jan 2015

21st January 2015 More on [moronic/psychopathic] speeding drivers.

Wednesday 21st 32-33F, 0-1C, still, overcast. Lighter, wintry showers possible. An inch of snow still lying.

Continuing on the subject of speeding drivers:  I was just reading on the Danish national
broadcaster's news webpage: The Danish photo vans, which monitor speeding in Denmark, will in future have to be manned by 'real' policemen. Some drivers become so angry at being caught speeding that they attack the photo vans and even the personnel inside them!

Clerical staff have previously been used for the exercise but obviously have no special training in self defense or talking psychopaths down from their rages. Nor presumably have they the authority which comes with the uniform. These vans are designed to go unnoticed and pass themselves off as just another parked service or delivery van. They photograph passing vehicles through their rear windows from the side of the road. Speeding drivers are caught with a flashgun to ensure their true identity and avoid court cases where the driver claims otherwise. The flash is so short that it freezes the image despite the speed of the passing vehicle. Simultaneous mobile phone abuse while driving will similarly be caught in the image.

I have always struggled to understand the mentality which blames another person for exposure of criminal behaviour. Nobody but the driver is responsible for the speed at which the vehicle is travelling. It is the classic criminal mindset which blames the police for catching the perpetrator red handed. Revenge then becomes the continuation of the criminal's typical, school bully behaviour. It never occurs to them that it is their own behaviour which must be modified or will eventually be sanctioned.

There is an outcry every time traffic calming measures are introduced. Heaven help anybody suggesting "money making" speed cameras be set up! Or a "nasty" chicane to slow speeding traffic outside the local school. Or a "vicious" speed bump. Which risks possible damage to cars which pass over it at twice to three times the legal speed limit. Or even a new, mini roundabout to kill the speed of [most] cars entering a village or town at well over the national speed limit. [As indicated by the constant 24 hour flashing of the speed indicator boards which already read low by 5-8 kph] I kid you not!

I have lost count of the number of times I have looked up at the roar of a speeding vehicle as I load my trike in a village supermarket car park. It is sickeningly normal to see a car accelerating hard, well past 60mph, in a busy shopping street with a very low speed limit and several schools nearby. It is a constant occurrence to see cars speeding past the brightly illuminated 30kph [20mph] signs outside local schools when the children are arriving or going home.

Often the speeding vehicles are local tradesmen with their business boldly advertised all over their vans. Or even local council vehicles with the logo resplendent on their vehicle sides. Their vital importance to the local community obviously gives them carte blanche to speed in their own "territory." Being held up, however momentarily, by a vehicle turning off the main thoroughfare is a starting pistol to sprint as hard as they possibly can until they meet the next obstruction. Nothing else matters. Not even when young children are monitoring their even younger siblings at a simple, central island road crossing right outside the local school. With only brightly coloured "table tennis bats" to protect themselves and their charges against the raving psychopaths racing past each way.

Many of whom are women. Often with children aboard. How many parents brainwash their own children from birth that speeding is fine as long as they don't get caught? Because that would be "so unfair!" As a driver I see vehicles full of children constantly overtaking me while I am travelling at the legal speed limit. This is so commonplace that it took me years to accept that the published speed limits in Denmark actually exist! To drive at the speed limit is to be overtaken by every car which catches up from behind. Which means most of them. Often the speeding driver will be welded to their mobile phone as they tailgate me. Waiting for an opportunity to pass even if it pushes oncoming vehicles aside. Often ignoring the presence of cyclists which must also be overtaken. Safely or otherwise.

A two and a half hour walk through the woods and on into another forest. It was the first time I had explored that wood but it took a long time to get back again. I must have covered 8 miles of forest track but hadn't taken my GPS logger with me to confirm the distance. Lots of  birds of prey but a complete absence of small birds until I was almost home. A Goldcrest was bombing about in the Chestnut. The roads look good enough for cycling again. Hardly any ice anywhere on the puddles despite the near freezing temperatures and lots of thin snow.

It remained dry but heavily overcast and cold for my ride after lunch but with almost no wind. All the wind turbines were standing still. Which is really quite unusual at any time of year. The roads weren't bad at all. I did a few miles on the aero bars. It is amazing to have an instant 2+mph extra on tap. I must remember to keep up a higher cadence though. It is very tempting to just plonk it into a much higher gear and then accelerate to match that gear. Ending up doing 20+mph instead of the intended and almost effortless 16-17mph. 16 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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