Spent a few happy hours on and around the M5 motorway today.
It was dark and wet most of the time – the type of rain windscreen wipers struggle to cope with effectively. The drops were either just too slow for proper wiping or just too fast for the occasional program.
That’s all we need – mischievous rain…
We had some fun with the tame starlings, sparrows and wagtails who shared our impromptu picnic in the carpark at the motorway services. The birds were highly inquisitive and unconcerned at being close to humans, cars and lorries.
The chirping and chattering birds seemed a lot brighter than many of the frowning Homo sapiens as they emerged crumpled from their tin cans to stretch and smoke.
Motorways are great when there are hardly any other users about, but more challenging in poor weather.
We negotiated large lorries with weak lighting suddenly looming large through the haze, people on phones pulling out without warning, van drivers rubbing their eyes like they’d just woken up while their vehicles swerved across several lanes, strangely attired motorcyclists, folk that don’t switch their car headlights on in the day, however dark it is, because they’re trying to cut down on their electricity bills, students driving with one hand while eating a baguette with the other and big German saloons slicing through the mist and spray at speeds over a hundred miles an hour.
Sooz calls cars ‘killing machines’ and can’t understand why people drive at silly speeds, especially in wet, misty, low-light conditions. She wonders how they can risk other people’s lives.
She hates it when cars ‘tailgate’ each other at high speeds, as it is clear they couldn’t stop in time if something happened.
Obviously many people think it’s okay to go fast, but certain drivers and particular vehicles are more likely to be overtaking and going well over reasonable limits.
More men than women seem to be involved, and drivers of bigger and more powerful vehicles are the worst culprits.
Nobody thinks they’ll crash.
But it happens.
Everyone decides their next meeting, delivery, drop or call is important enough for them to risk everything by rushing.
Bosses push their drivers to go faster and expect results.
After all, as we’re told constantly;
TIME IS MONEY!
But if you think about that phrase, it is meaningless.
Time isn’t anything but time.
Money is what the economic system uses to manage and control human affairs.
Don’t believe the hype.
Car manufacturers make vehicles that go faster than speed limits virtually everywhere. So why is that? Surely the makers are complicit if not majorly responsible for some of this behaviour?
Think about the adverts, the sponsorship of sporting, cultural and charity events, the tie-ins with the oil companies. Cars are the most visible everyday signifier of social status and rank.
Automobiles are the prizes for conforming to the dominant business model – the better your car, the higher you are up the pyramid.
Car manufacturers sell status. People try to show this by having more powerful and faster cars than others.
Overtaking isn’t just about driving;
It’s often a political gesture as well.