An apology

If you are driving the highways and byways of Dorset and stuck behind some silver grey Astra that is being driven somewhat cautiously its probably me, sorry! My family would say I was not a fast driver anyway but in strange, and to me, narrow roads, I take extra care. Occasionally a driver gets really annoyed and zooms past at the first opportunity – often having to whiz back in asap or wrap themsleves round an oncoming tractor or such like.

I don’t drive a huge amount in normal day to day terms, and the routes I take I know well. I’m probably equally guilty of impatience when getting stuck behind a car on my well worn routes. When I’m out of my area I rely on SatNav, and despite the urban myths, I have always found it completely reliable.

One really excellent example of SatNav for me is the way it warns me of speed limts and speed cameras ahead of me encountering them – and I’m not really here talking about avoidance, I’m talking warning. A lot of the roads round here suddenly change, the Satnav tells me to beware – good for everyone’s safety.

So, last night the news that the Government (anyone who has read many of my posts will realise I’m not a great fan) is withdrawing funding for speed cams, and is championing this as giving people local choice. Local choice to be knocked down, local choice to have accidents outside your house? Local choice to have the National Health Service resources used to patch up the results? Hmmmm……. sorry not convinced.

No speed cams means a freedom to drive at the speed you choose, the chances of being caught are slim unless you really exceed the limit by a lot. The same argument was lost many years ago about the libertarian concept of being able to drink and drive because it was your choice…. yeah, and the consequences for others? No speed cams also means no need to have them on the SatNav, so my safety is put at risk, thanks for that ConDems.

A decade ago I spent some time in the Czech Republic, and on one occasion was being driven round by some charming 18 year old hosts. We were driving in the countryside to vsiit some caves and they remarked that they always took great care when they saw any warning signs on the roads.  I commended them for their restraint – no they said you don’t understand – we can’t afford warning signs, so if there is one ever it really does mean this place is dangerous!

I wonder if we will end up with the odd speedcam that really means, whoa, hey this is a death trap, but for all the other places you take your chance?

Ok, had a great day at The Tank Museum at Bovington. For me and my military history interest this was amazing. So many things that I liked, that would mean nothing to anyone else – in fact I can see eyes glazing over already. The picture is of a King Tiger – the largest tank ever built by the Germans in WW2. It was impressive, but actually sank into the ground because it was so heavy, had a fatal design flaw, and couldn’t travel on most of the roads on Europe as they were – too narrow!

A piece of trivia for you, its almost 95 years since the first tanks were created, its only in the latest British tank that has a primitive toilet built in…… Sometimes the essentials are neglected in the grand design…….

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