Thank you for not Effing Indicating

Anyone would think from the gallons of ink spilt and acres of newsprint consumed recently that the only people who ever violated the traffic regulations in London’s streets were the cyclists steaming through red lights. Yes, that’s annoying, and I’ve blogged about it myself, but consider this. When I cycle and I wish to turn I have to signal by taking my hand off the handlebar while simultaneously steering, braking and looking behind me – no mean feat for someone as unco-ordinated as I am. Yet I do it*. Car drivers can indicate by just flipping a little lever by the steering wheel. So do they? Do they buggery. I’ve lost track of the amount of time I’ve spent in a frenzy of impatience waiting to cross the road to get to Kew Bridge station before my train leaves, unable to risk nipping across against the lights because the cars there indicate on a strictly need-to-know basis where pedestrians most definitely don’t need to know.

There’s a neat little gesture people use in Southern Africa to let you know that you’ve left your indicators on (most drivers in Swaziland at least took a rather casual approach to the need to pass a driving test) – one hand out, opening and closing the fingers like a starfish. However there’s another, less nice, but rather more common hand gesture we Brits use to indicate that you may not have behaved with the utmost courtesy to your fellow human being. And that’s probably the one I’ll be using the next time someone decides that their decision to make a left turn should be a delightful surprise to all and sundry.

* er, most of the time. I mean if there’someone coming who might want to know. And the roads aren’t too wet and slippy.


6 responses to “Thank you for not Effing Indicating

  1. Yeah! They think they rule the roads. And whats even scarier is bus drivers, who leave the indicators on every second they’re stopped, so you’re left to have to decide if they have a queue, if they’re gonna be sat for ages or move off, and if you do overtake try to make sure they see you! Bah! Not to mention trying to navigate roundabouts at the same time as them!

  2. roundabouts, buses and bikes don’t mix. I have to confess to getting off and walking at the big roundabouts, especially if there are buses

  3. I could go on about who pays the road tax here, but I won’t.

    Lets all live in piece and smile some. It does help, honest.

  4. hmmm – I know what you mean … but when I’m trying to cross the road and cars turn unexpectedly into my path (usually with a blank scary stare from the driver whose mind is obviously not completely on the job in hand) smiling is very far from my mind… I’m sure you never do that, but lots of drivers do. And don’t forget that even the most hardened of car drivers has to get out and walk sometime (Jeremy Clarkson may be an exception to this rule) so the pedestrian you mow down may just be a fellow tax payer…

  5. Indicators do seem rather optional in this land. But then, I believe driving with a brain is optional as well. Can’t tell you the number of times I’ve nearly had my guts smeared all over a Zebra crossing. I believe that London is populated by 7.4 million people convinced they are here by themselves.

  6. I think brains have been optional in drivers here for years…

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