30 Jun 2017

30th June 2017 Defensive Walking.

Friday 30th 57F, 14C, light winds, still raining. A very wet day and night is forecast. With yellow warnings of cloudbursts. There was only steady, fine drizzle as I walked defensively against the commuting traffic and their tyre spray. Not that walking against the traffic helps when a lunatic in a black Alpha overtakes a lorry on double white lines and then uses all the road to drive at twice the speed limit past numerous blind, private drives, before arriving at the next blind corner.

Very unusually, a young woman with a pushchair was walking with the traffic towards the bus stop. It is rare indeed to ever see another pedestrian.  I looked on in fear as every car had to take violent measures to avoid her on the same blind corner.

Autopilot cutting every single corner in both directions is the absolute norm in Denmark. Every double white line is worn down to grey on every corner and along many straights. I have seen solo driving instructors and police cars following exactly the same line. Crossing the double white lines by at least a yard/meter on even the gentlest of corners is perfectly normal behaviour. They do this whatever is coming the other way. The oncoming vehicle is fully expected to use their own verge to avoid the corner-cutting psychopaths! I kid you not.

One can only presume that all drivers are taught to drive this [suicidal] way in Denmark. They don't know the law regarding double white lines and so they simply don't follow the rules. Logic would suggest that cutting any blind corner, where a large proportion of drivers overshoot, on double white lines is a recipe for national disaster. These drivers wouldn't last a day in Gravely Blighted unless they changed their own behaviour.

Will Google have to exclusively change their self-driving software to cater for illegal, Danish driving habits? Perhaps we should be told? Many commuters will certainly have to drastically alter their timetables if Google's software refuses to exceed the visual braking distance on blind corners. How they will cope en-masse with cornering at such modest speeds is difficult to say. Will psychiatric help be required for the millions who do not engage their brains before turning the "ignition" key? THis all takes place in a country where speeding is the norm. As is tailgating anybody not driving at 10-15kph over the legal speed limit in town, village or on the motorway. There is no basic human right to be allowed to drive at the speed limit in Denmark. Not without constant intimidation.

"They" even lower the speeds shown on the speed indicator boards at the entrances to villages by 6-7kph. I have always assumed this is to avoid embarrassing too many drivers. As they enter the village to flashing yellow warning lights to indicate their illegally high speed. Even these warning lights have a carefully adjusted delay to avoid embarrassing too many drivers by flashing as they approach at some ridiculous speed. The obvious logic would be to have flashing yellow lights on the backs of the boards as well. So anyone downstream is forewarned and the speeding driver has his conscience pricked.

So the faster they drive into a village the less likely they are to see the speed indicator board actually register a lower, but still illegal speed. Or to be warned of their poor behaviour by the flashing lights.

The following vehicle, which may well have slowed to the legal speed limit, is presented with a completely false [totally random] speed reading and the flashing lights caused by the vehicle they were following! If this is meant to be a traffic calming measure then it is poorly thought out, often poorly installed, very poorly calibrated and a constant irritant to better drivers.

 I have been reading the speed indicator board on the way into a local village for 20 years and in all that time it has read consistently 6kph slow when I see 50kph on my speedometer. The difference is enough to mean a fine if I used these daft indicator boards as a guide to my actual speed. The same error held true through various changes of vehicle so it isn't a unique speedometer error.

A new speed indicator board was recently installed in another village and yet again reads significantly low. Though that does not stop it flashing at almost every motorist who recognises a straight village road as an open invitation to speed. At the end of the straight is a blind bend with a crossroads just beyond. Where I witnessed the aftermath of a very serious, multi-vehicle "accident." With one car cut in half lengthways and a minivan on its roof! This in the middle of a village with 50kph [30mph] speed limits for miles in both directions! 

Click on any image for an enlargement. 

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