Silly saga

I was always taught the essence of good driving is: “courtesy towards and consideration of other road users”.

So the following silly saga, though amusing, was somewhat irritating at the time. Toad of Toad Hall (The Wind in the Willows) is alive and well and driving up a street where you live!

Last Tuesday, August 28, I was exiting the doctors’ car park in Temple Road and a taxi was about to turn in: so I quickly got out of its way, turning left. There was a car coming down Temple Road, but I had plenty of time to do this. However, the driver of the car took great umbridge at our manoeuvring, and blew his horn continuously, racing up behind me so fast blaring on his horn, there was almost a Doppler effect. 
I leapt out of my car to find out what on earth was the matter. When I confronted the driver he kept repeating unpleasantly like a mantra: “You’re a witch: fly away on your broomstick”. The only explanation I can offer is that I have long hair, and was wearing a sun hat (a Panama), but it’s a big ask to imagine this is a witch’s hat! Perhaps I should have suggested I put a very bad spell on him; or even invited Toad to jump on the back of my broomstick as my familiar. I felt my words of wisdom about his appalling driving were having as much impact as blancmange on granite!

But I was in no mood for jocular banter. He was hardly a tear-away; in his 30s or 40s. I told him his driving was frightening and dangerous. He then accused me of swearing, of using the “f” word! Perhaps he’d deafened himself with his own horn! I began to wonder what planet he was on or even WHAT he was on. I thought of reporting him to the police (and told him this). There were witnesses; the taxi driver and a pedestrian rooted to the spot barely able to believe her own ears! However I decided it would be gross waste of police time, (not to mention mine and the witnesses). Then, on Thursday, August 30, I read Hardyal Dhindsa’s article in the Advertiser on Policing: your byline quote caught my eye “if you are a victim of antisocial behaviour....don’t just put up with it”, and advice to phone 101.

Out of interest and for future reference I did make a brief call to 101 about my encounter with that road-hog. Although we did laugh a bit about it, the police officer said each case is judged on its own merit, and people are welcome to phone 101 if they do have something that’s worrying re antisocial behaviour etc. Road rage is a great problem. What do your readers think, or have they similar experiences to share?

Felicity Dobson


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