An American friend and I were exchanging mails… as I am contemplating a trip there this year and was saying how I found driving there confusing and I wasn’t quite sure what to do at junctions. In offering his sympathy he mentioned his experience driving in the Uk and said how, for him, every roundabout, he thought he faced certain death!
Well these days so do I!
What the hell happened to discipline on our roads. Its time that we introduced stop signs at all roundabouts and enforced them with the zeal shown by French police!
I’ve only been driving for thirty something years and learned to drive in the aggressive arena of central London. Nevertheless, I slow as I approach a roundabout ready to give way to the right as I should. If something is approaching there I come to a halt to let it take precedence. There are a few drivers like me but the rest split into two factions… the nervy ones who have panic in their eyes and are only happy if there is no other vehicle visible within fifty meters of the junction and the evil-eyed, hell-bent, selfish majority who accelerate into the roundabout as if leaping into a boxing ring.
There is no civility or courtesy, not even simple caution… nowadays the roundabout is just the chance to be as Macho as a Portuguese driver… you know the ones who sit behind you on a straight and empty flat road and wait until you are on a blind bend and more blind summit before overtaking. They believe there is no fun in it otherwise. Or maybe they are like the fatalistic Indian drivers I once encountered in Delhi driving against the traffic in the fast lane of a duel carriageway! Kharma kept them safe it seems.
Every roundabout is now a test of courage, tenacity, stubbornness and brinkmanship!
If there was just one law I could pass….