A628, Flouc to the MI via Penistone. Welsh-registered MINI in front of us, which we just caught up with before the first 40 limit. Drivers sees 40 limit sign, brakes hard & continues at 28 mph. Maybe mistook the 40 for a 30? No, two 40 repeaters later we're still doing 28. So what's going to happen at the start of the 30 limit 50 metres or so ahead? Down to 25. . .
. . . & on & on for mile after mile.
The only consolation was that my wife was driving!
I should like to announce the invention of the handbrake. But who would use such a thing, when you can park waiting for your little treasure to come out of school, your brake lights implying you might drive away any moment? Or indeed while you phone your friends. Or you can sit at road works or traffic lights ready to roll backwards at any moment. Secure the car? Don't be silly.
"A HANDbrake?" cry a thousand drivers in the disapproving voice of Lady Bracknell.
The problem is that with auto gears (it's harder to get proper gearboxes anymore) the start/stop works on the footbrake. Apply handbrake, release footbrake and the engine starts. Really annoying for the eco-warriors and encourages bad practice.
Hill hold is similar. I hads always used hand brake rather than foot if stationary for any length of time to avoid shining my brake lights at the guy behind. But my current car is a bit of a faff to do that.
To use the footbrake, one hard push and it holds until I set off. To use the 'hand' brake I need to use the extra foot pedal to set it, and then the hand lever to release it again. Or I could select park and panic the guy behind when my reversing lights flash.
Done deliberately to provide a gap between you and them. In the event that you get tail ended they are less likely to also get hit by your involuntary forward movement. Nevertheless it is frustrating, I just don't bother closing the gap until the queue, in general, moves forward a significant amount.
I hate people who just sit on the footbrake, always have. Not least because (especially with the advent of LED lights) you sit behind them getting blinded by their brake lights blazing away, not to mention the inherent laziness by people who just can't be bothered to use the handbrake. However, I've come a cropper with our family wagon, a 2013 VW Touareg. It has an electric parking brake with an auto hold function. I initially realised the auto hold was keeping the brake lights on throughout, so started using the parking brake every time I stopped. Then I looked again. Whenever this car is not moving, be it in Park, Neutral, or Drive with handbrake or auto hold on, the brake lights are on. The ONLY time they aren't is when the ignition is off or when the car is moving. How bloody wonderful. I've become that which I hate the most..... Thank the gods my 159 is a little more old fashioned!!
I was once behind someone in a massive queue due to some broken traffic lights, but on a very flat and level road. I was tired, it was dusk, and he just sat on his brake pedal, until I got pissed off with the glare blinding me.
I got out of my car and politely asked him to use his handbrake instead.
Thankfully, he was a nice bloke and the problem was solved.
Also, I'm not a cyclist hater but the last couple of days has had me wondering if the cyclist's etiquette has changed somewhat over the past few years.
I was driving up London Road in Preston (picture attached somewhere), where there is a purpose built cycle lane adjacent to the footpath, yet there was one chap who thought it was a good idea to ride up on the main highway, causing people to pull out into the outer lane to avoid him. This caused a bit of a bottle neck into town, when there shouldn't have been one.
And again, on the way to a job on a country road, 2 cyclists riding abreast were causing a tailback of traffic, making it impossible for us to progress.
Also this week, on a job, I was in the outside line lane doing 90mph, overtaking a car in the middle lane, when a motorbike shot through between us, at about 120mph.
Stupidity with a death wish.