Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Silly Season

So apparently the silly season is upon us and everyone is supposedly under pressure, tired out and in need of a break.  Meanwhile our road toll has already exceeded last year's tally and the remedy is speeding fines for 5km/h over the limit - the same solution as every holiday period for the last few years (thanks Australia). 

Anyway, there must have been something weird happening in Palmy yesterday as I witnessed 1 near miss, got myself wrapped up in another and came across two separate accidents...Our populations is supposedly around 84,000 (when the scarfies are in town I 'spose).  Not a bad effort for one day's work, but these are only the ones I saw...

Near miss number 1.  4WD fails to give way to a motorcycle (not me) on the big roundabout just up the road to me.  I got a good view of this and the poor rider must have messed his jacks when a dirty great SUV appeared next to him.  But then, the 4WD must have been in a hurry to just nip around to the left and go blasting up a short dead-end street.  Dramatic re-creation below...

Next up, it was my turn to enter the chaos of the roundabout.  Mine was nowhere near as serious as I was never going to ride the poor old Tenere into the side of a truck that decided to not give way to me.  I did however come to a complete stop in the middle of the roundabout.

Two near misses in less than a minute so now it was time to see what happens when a near miss turns into an event - and this one looked pretty nasty, I hope nobody was injured.

I was held up majorly (along with hundreds of others) by an accident on Fitz Ave which is a major road coming into town.  At an (intersection controlled by lights), two cars had come together with quite a whack - the front wheel, axle and suspension had been torn from one of the cars and neither will probably ever turn a wheel again.  This is a 50km/h zone.

At work, a number of my team were held up by the accident and it was a good topic for our safety moment.  I was able to add in my other earlier adventures...Lots of head shaking all around...

Just after 5pm I was in my car (swapped vehicles, dog in the back) and making my way to the old's when I got held up by the next accident.  This time around a bus had taken on a car.  To me it looked like the bus had decided to turn out into the traffic (busy road, 2 lanes each way) and managed to tag some poor unfortunate.  People everywhere, chaos etc etc.

Well, I'm not an expert but I don't see speed as being a factor in any of these near misses/accidents.  Maybe one of the cars in accident #1 was getting along but far more likely was that someone was running an orange/red. 

What I reckon was the cause of all of them was silliness and I don't think you can use the time of year as an excuse.  In each case someone decided to ignore road rules or to make a risky decision.

ACC have taken a lot of stick about the ridiculous cost of bike registrations (plenty from me for sure - it costs me over a grand a year for 2 bikes) but they have been putting some money into subsidised rider training and then there's Geoff and his mates also offering good training to bike riders.  Advanced driver training courses are available but they are never even mentioned when the police are talking about road safety and I don't think there's any such thing as subsidised driver training...

But, unfortunately driver/rider training is probably only taken up by sensible people - the idiots out there are far too good to need it.  If only the cops could get silliness detectors for their cars...

Anyway, not the most eloquent rant and I certainly don't have all the ideas to fix stupid but please be careful out there, no silly behaviour, watch out the other loonies, have fun and take care over this silly season!

Might be safer sticking to the gravel...


  1. Silly season eh? Full Moon out? Scarfies = tourists? Here in the traffic cesspool that is Metro Denver, its stupid cagers all the time.

    1. I did wonder about a full moon but I couldn't see it in all the bright sunlight...

      Wish they could fix stupid.

      Scarfie = student. Tourists are another major traffic problem on our country roads...

  2. Andrew,
    I think it's a problem through much of the world and it's called lack of situational awareness. In NZ, the official driving standards are still too low, maybe stemming from the days of a low vehicle population. You make a great point about speed which ismambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff. Until authorities get serious about raising standards, accident statistics will remain high.

    1. Sorry I missed your comment for a while there Geoff. Yeah, spot on - people just don't treat driving like it is a serious task. Too busy involved in conversations, texting and thinking of things other than what is going on around them at a reasonable pace...

      I like to think that motorcyclists are more aware as there are more hazards to them than tin tops.

      What would happen if we all went back to manual transmissions and took aware all those helpful driving aids like cruise control? Driving to me is too simple - I've tested myself fairly hard at staying awake while riding and am pretty sure I couldn't (or at least recognise my condition) but I'm not to sure about in a nice quiet, warm car...

  3. Your welcome.
    Yep stupid drivers everywhere I guess. Just take a look at he Dash Cam Australia for all the ridiculous car crashes here. There are no standards when it comes to getting a license in Australia.

    1. Maybe we've had a sudden influx of Aussies...I doubt it somehow, you're right,idiots everywhere.

      Keep your eyes open man.

  4. Stupid drivers everywhere. Inattention and people in a hurry. Slow down and look twice people. We've had 3 or 4 drivers die on our local roads in the last two days, luckily no motorcyclists. Of court we are heading into winter so there aren't as many on the roads.

    We have some of the widest roads in the world and for some reason people can't stay in their own lane. The accident yesterday was a head-on crash because someone crossed the center line. Sad. The people that were in their own lane minding their own business both died.

    1. We don't have wide roads and yes, we have a lot of issues with people crossing the centre line. I often have to change my line because there is a truck or 4WD using most of my lane.

      Tourists have taken a hammering lately (and quite rightly) as they are not used to driving on our roads or on the left and also do dumb stuff like stop in the middle of the road to take photos. Several motorcyclists killed this way :(

  5. "Might be safer sticking to the gravel..."

    Andrew, that is exactly why I started on the dirt bikes then moved to mountain bikes. You are the major influence in how the day goes when you are riding dirt. Random dickheads are waaay down the risk factor list (unless you also happen to be a random dickhead...)
    Stay safe and trust no one!

    1. Cheers Dave. Gotta keep some distance from random dickheads alright...