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the proverbial farm that is. I was vehicle #3 tooling down a 4 lane street, #1 & #2 are in the left lane. #1 decides to slow to turn left , #2 decides he doesn't want to wait so he starts to switch to the right lane with no signal. You guessed it I'm in the right lane about half way past #2. A short toot on the horn and he screeches back into the left lane nearly slamming into #1 and he lays on the horn - to me or #1 I'm not sure.

After I pass he yanks out in to the right lane (again no signal) and speeds up. I thought he was going to ram me. Being right at my work place I turn right (using my signal) and pull into my work's parking lot and he follows me into the lot - again without a signal.

Now our parking lot is long and narrow, a lane in and a lane out, clearly marked IN and OUT with signs and arrows. I have to tool around about 2/3rd's of the way around to find a parking spot. Good ol' #2 sits there just inside the IN lane. I park and dismount.

Now, get this' he BACKS OUT INTO TRAFFIC and pulls into the OUT lane (need I say, with out signals again) so he can aim his car at me and pull up so's the drivers window faces me. I'm just standing there pulling gloves and helmet off getting ready to enter the building watching this incredibly stupid dude pulling up towards me.

I don't know if this was his original intention, or his wife in the passenger seat talked some sense into him, or the sight of me (6', 290lbs) scared him, but he pulled up and said, "Sorry man I didn't see YOU switch lanes till you blew your horn". I am taken aback a moment and respond "OK, glad there wasn't an accident". He backs out the OUT drive into traffic again and takes off.

I don't know if I should laugh or thank my lucky stars the old coot (
) didn't jump out and throw down. What a world!!
 

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I dont think wanted a piece of a 290 lb "Razorback",ha!

Glad you're OK !
 

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Glad to hear it all turned out good. I am 5'11" and about 270lbs, it is amazing how quick there attitude changes when you don't back down at all,:walker::walker: just getting off the bike or out of the car seems to be enough to inspire them to re-think there actions of the last few minutes. :gunhead::gunhead:
 

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Yeesh!!! Today I'm headed the southbound on the same friggin' street. Going home for lunch.

I'm stopped at a stop light in a lane designated as a STRAIGHT AHEAD LANE - no turns, you can just go straight. It's designated with big arrows ON the street AND on a sign. An old lady is in the lane on the right which is designated as a RIGHT TURN ONLY lane. Again indicated both by giant street arrows and the sign posted right next to her.

Mind you, there's only ONE lane ahead as what would be used as another southbound lane is used as the northbound's left hand turn lane. I pull straight ahead to enter the one and only lane opposite the intersection. Sure 'nuff she goes straight too. She edges over completely oblivious to my prescense. I lay on the horn and the old bat SPEEDS UP.

Thankfully no one is in the opposing left hand turn lane. I used it to swerve and miss her.

On she toddles, completely unaware that she just made and illegal move. Let's see, failure to use a signal. Using the wrong lane, failing to yield. What else can we think of?

AND on the way home I decide to ditch the Wing and opt for the car to return in. It's real overcast and just feels like rain. I cross the same dang intersection and some OTHER "lady" decides to turn right from the LEFT lane right in front of me. Bless her heart she even used her turn signals as she blindly pulled across my path without looking.

I don't know if karma is stacked up against me, I've been a bad boy or what is going on. All 3 of these episodes occurred within 100 feet of this same intersection!!

I think I'll find another way to travel the whole 2.5 miles back home this evening.:?
 

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Well, over here they say that these things come in threes, so with luck your 3 close shaves are the end of it.
 

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I have just had two stickers made for the back of the GL

<PASSING SIDE SUICIDE>

I stuck them on the lower air dam rear of the bike for the drivers who think it is cool to pass on the right. Only in Ireland I think you lad's drive on the otherside and the correct side to pass is on the right. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Regards Coal.:clapper:
 

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The first thing that I noticed when moving back to the states after living in Europe forten years was the lack of driver skill here in America.

They just don't teach people how to drive here in the states! It's a huge problem. In most states, your uncle, father, (or whoever) who is over a certain age with a driver’s license, can teach others to drive! Most driving tests at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) are only ten or fifteen minutes long and are not comprehensive.

In the past, when America was not so crowded (except in the cities), it didn't matter as much. But now every Tom, d**k, and Harry seems to think that it's their God-given-right to have a car, and they drive them like there’s no tomorrow, even when they could walk or take a bicycle- usually with only one person in the car. Public transportation is a joke because almost nobody uses it. Because gasoline is so cheap, and because the drivers are so bad, more and more people are now buying gigantic SUV's and pickup trucks because it makes them feel safer.

I once overheard a woman telling her friend, "I'm not a very good driver so I bought an SUV. Now if I get into an accident, I win, and they lose." I was appalled! This is the attitude here... it's very scary, especially as a motorcyclist.

It's getting so bad that many, many people don't even bother to do the simple things like use their turn signals.

There is, of course,a reason for this.Both my brother and my brother-in-law are police officers and I've askedthem both about it.They say that there are too few police officers and too much crime for them to have the time to cite people for minor traffic offenses. If one appears to be an otherwise law-abiding citizen, andnot going more than 10 or so MPH over the speed limit (or some other minor infraction), the police don't even bother.

This, of course, begs the question as to how many lives are being saved by the current approach, and how many lives could be saved by an approach that stresses traffic safety. Traffic fatalities are at an all-time high. I’m not saying that we should ignore other types of crime, but fatalities from violent crime are only a small fraction compared to traffic fatalities.

The bottom line is that three things need to happen. 1) Driver training needs to be improved – dramatically (we are no longer a rural country). 2) Enforcement of the traffic laws needs to occur. 3) There needs to be a crackdown on drunk drivers, since a large percentage of accidents are caused by those idiots. In 2003, in America, over 17,000 people were killed by drunks behind the wheel (35 percent of all fatal accidents). Almost six times the number killed in the September 11 attacks – in just one year! It's like 85 passenger jets with 200 people eachcrashing every year!

 

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Driving charter buses I spend a good bit of time on the road and do see a lot of dumb stuff on the road. I agree that our penalties for drunk driving are too weak, I'd like to see them do more time than small-time drug dealers. On the other hand I'm amazed at how few serious accidents there are considering the number of vehicles on the roads. As for cheap gasoline, I think it's great! If you take the Consumer Price Index into consideration, gas is cheaper in the States than it was in the 60s.Sure people drive when they could walk or ride bicycles, so what? Mass transit? fine if you've got the time and can put up with the aggravation of the bums (aka homeless) that like to stink up city buses, puke on the floor, and occasionally attack drivers and other passengers. My two 4 wheelers are a Mercury Grand Marquis and a 3/4 ton diesel pickup. 4000lbs and 5300lbs empty respectively. I'm burning that dino grease as fast as I can. The only ecologically reasonable vehicle I have is my sailboat and the Goldwing. When the oil is gone I have no doubt that another fuel will be developed and that the future is bright.

(Now that was a real good rant, I feel much better):whip::whip::cooldevil:
 

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axelwik wrote:
The first thing that I noticed when moving back to the states after living in Europe forten years was the lack of driver skill here in America.

They just don't teach people how to drive here in the states! It's a huge problem...
I'm not saying this is only a USA thing, there are daft drivers everywhere. Buta good example of that was in the TV program "Long Way Round" recently. My mother sent it (along with the book) to me for Christmas. Star Wars actor Ewan McGregor and a friend did 20,000 miles on BMW RS 650's from the UK right across Europe and Russia to New York through some appalling road conditions. The had lots of minor falls on rough fields etc but avoided any real accidents until they got to the USA. They were riding along a main highway, side by side when a teenager in a Honda jeep (big wheels, nice high viewing position) hit Ewans bike from behind and knocked him off. The front of the Honda was badly damaged but the alloy saddlebags saved the bike and possibly Ewans life. The cameraman asked the teen how he had managed to hit the rear of the bike in broad daylight (the bikes were very visible as they were fully loaded) while they were right under his nose. He just shrugged his shoulders and said "I dunno, guess I didn't see them." McGregor was fuming and I'd say the cameras presence saved the teen from getting a well deserved thumping. The teen came across as really stupid and incompetent.

I believe that in Australia years ago the government passed a law where any driver who causes someones death while driving and over the booze limit will be charged with manslaughter instead of a lesser charge. Apparently it slashed the amount of over the limit drivers by 80% overnight. Sweden has a similar law. That's what's needed in Ireland. Forget your smoking bans, tax on chewing gum etc, drink driving is a real issue that affects many families and proper action is needed.

That's my last rant for 2004. So wishing you all a Happy New Year and many thanks to my friend Steve for all the support he gave me during my move to Oz and for providing a great forum for all us ungrateful sods! :p
 

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I cannot hold my tounge no longer. The following is probably going to upset a lot of Americans but it has to be told.

I am from England I came to the USA in 1980 when I was 18. To start with the driving test in the USA is an absolute joke. If you can drive a dodgem car you will pass your test. you lads from the Emerald Isle know what a dodgem car is.

Their is absolutly no lane disipline here, it's every man for himself. I hate to pass on the right here but you have to to get down the highway, their attitude is I pay my taxes I am going to drive were the hell I want to.

Large trucks have got realy bad lately. They tailgate you so close you feel the air wash pushing you along. They just do not realize if the driver or rider in front has to brake suddenly they would not have enough time to brake and miss them IE a wreck occours. EG a large truck just before Xmas in the Birmingham Alabama area took an off ramp at 87mph estimated. Wrecked and set on fire. Melting the overpass bridge it came to rest under. That stretch of road was closed for one month. No one was killed or hurt. but you can imagine the upheavel that caused.

THE POLICE

What a joke They do not know what a bad driver is. the only police work on the road they know is how to operate a radar gun. Thats all I have to say on that one.

Regards Coal
 

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Warning rant ahead!!! I agree with Coal, and it's not only in the US. Here in Ontario Canada the written portion of the driving test is available in some 36 languages 36!! Last time I looked, all the street signs are in 1, English on occasion 2 French as we have 2 official languages. And, as I discovered in October when I had to re-write my tractor trailer test(Has to be done every 5 years. But teachers don't ever have to be re tested for their teaching abilities , just truck drivers for their driving abilities. Sorry that one really irks me) While I was sitting there writing my test the moderator was giving a verbal test through an interpreter. Now I am no linguist but I believe the language was outer Mongolian, and there is no way the moderator could possible tell if the student was answering the questions or the interpreter was . How is this testing the knowledge of the new driver??? But apparently, the good news is, that in 2005 Ontario will be offering the written test in outer Mongolian, so that the 11 of them that are here in Ontario wont have to go through the embarrassment of a verbal, interpreted test. Aint that gonna make for safer roads ???????? Wow I feel better already:gunhead::gunhead::gunhead:
 

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coal wrote:
I am from England I came to the USA in 1980 when I was 18. To start with the driving test in the USA is an absolute joke.
Well a belated Welcome to America to you Cole. I'd have to say that even though I'm a Yank - bred and born - I have to agree with you. We have possibly the best infrastructure here. Roads everywhere, signs, stripes, arrows and lights on every dang post - and yet it never ceases to amaze me the stupid things I see.

THE POLICE

What a joke They do not know what a bad driver is. the only police work on the road they know is how to operate a radar gun.
Yep, if they even have one. The worst near miss I've ever had was years ago with a patrol car while I was driving the car. I was coming down a long incline, it was dark, it was raining, it was a 2 lane road, except there was also a lane to the right of me (luckily) for the entrance to a park for the last 400 feet. The cop pulled out of the road to my left making a right hand turn from a stop towards me. And pulled right into my lane. I'm doing about 40 mph in a 50 zone and the road is just a normal rain slick, not dangerous but not something you want to make a bunch of sudden maneuvers on. This idiot can't even pull into his own lane from a dead stop.

I corrected to avoid him and started to skid. He passed me on my right going the wrong wayin this special turn lane. (Remember you Islanders, this is the USA where we drive on the right) I did a skid about 45 degrees to the right then 75 degrees back to the left and managed to save it and straighten it back out and stopped, panting, on the left shoulder of the road having completely crossed the lane the cop should of been. He never stopped, slowed down or checked to see if I was OK or not. In the ensuing panic I did not get his license of car number. The donut shop must of been having a special or something. :gunhead:
 

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Well it's all in the eyes of the beholder I guess. As a lifetime driver in the US I can say that we don't have the market on crazy drivers or the worst. I have visited Paris and Rome on several ocasions over the past few years and for the first time in my life would not even think about renting a car and driving in those cities. Yet I have no problem with NY city. Go figure..... Guess it what we are used to.

The cab ride from the airport to the hotel in Paris was enough to scare me from renting a car. The roundabouts are amazing! I could see myself stuck for days there!:)

In Lisbon Portugal I could never go fast enough on the highway to keep up.

A friend of mine who lives in London took us out for dinner one night and he is right up there with my NY city cab drivers. He had an brand new car and at one point turned blindly right and knocked over a poor fellow on a motor scooter who was passing. We were stopped in our lane when he decided to change lanes and pulled out right in front of the poor bloke.

What did amaze me was the fellow on the scooter was so cordial and polite. Now thats not TYPICAL NY style....

As for driving tests, there are no tests that can compensate for poor judgment andwe have those kind of people the world over.
 

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Come on guys, this kinda stuff is everywhere, no one has a lock on stupidity. I got bumped by a taxi making a U-turn in Yokohama years ago, thing was I was walking on a sidewalk and this guy needed the extra room to make the turn so he simply drove up on the sidewalk. On TV (telly?) I watched a program about the world's worst drivers and though it omitted Ireland, Britain was well represented as well as the US and several other countries.
 

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LOLOL I have spent the last few years in Venezuela. The driving everywhere else is simply LOVELY!!
 

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Driving anywhere, one needs to know the rules and the customs of that counrty. There are a lot of Americans who go to other countries who never bother to learn the traffic laws in the country they are visiting and subsequently get into accidents, then say, "they drive like idiots here." In central Europe I agree that they do drive faster in most situations, but they can, in most cases, get away with it because driving there is more predictable and the drivers better trained. It does get a little crazy in the cities, but that happens in any city.

I'd say that more than 75% of American GI's who are stationed in Germany, for example, get into an accident within the first two years. The GI is almost always at fault because he or she ignored the traffic laws or just didn't use common sense (due to weather conditions, driving too fast for their skill level, too slow,etc.).
 

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I've driven all over Europe over the years (coach tours mainly) and the cities do tend to be a bit madder than anywhere else. The most frightening city I found was Rome. Many streets are so narrow that the buildings are worn at the corners where the cars simply scrape off the walls!
 

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LOLOL!!!! The rule in Venezuela is to drive LIKE AN IDIOT!!

I love them dearly, but they are simply not drivers!
 

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Ok, my turn to add my "two cents" worth.

I think Axelwik's initial comment about drivers in the US has a certain fundamental truth to it, because training and testing here stinks, and enforcement is sporadic and dropping (mixed feelings about that, from me!) There is a new tact here, for the State Police- unmarked cars, cruising for outrageous drivers, including watching for "road rage"- I don't know if it's working, but it seems like a good idea.

Having said that, I also agree that there are drivers everywhere who stink, and we call all debate who stinks the worst!:cheeky1: Stench is stench, yes? :grinner:

I remember what I learned at the onset, back in 1977- "Imagine that you are invisible"! Forget rules, forget right of way, forget "eye contact"- every driver I see, I try to think "what is the most stupid thing this (fill in the epithet) could do right now, and what would I, or could I, do about it?" It's kept me alive, so far!

BTW- I got to visit Italy (finally), and I thought the drivers were excellent- it's amazing howfew moped/scooter riders get hit. And the horror stories about Rome, which abound here in the US- I think the Americans who start these rumors must be from Iowa (my apologies, if you are!) :goofygrin: Try Mexico City-it's far more challenging!
Has anyone ridden in Beijing China? Now that would be a survival story!
 

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airbeat wrote:
The cab ride from the airport to the hotel in Paris was enough to scare me from renting a car. The roundabouts are amazing! I could see myself stuck for days there!:)


I don't think cab rides should count for horror stories- nearly every big city or foreign cab ride has been surreal for me!

A friend and I once were in a Mexico City cab, on Avenida Reforma (the main drag; picture a surface freeway, but with roundabouts that handle 60-100 cars at once, and yes, traffic signals). Oh yeah, that boulevard wasmodeled onthe Champs Elysees in Paris!

Traffic signals? I think not, at 2 am! I looked over the driver's shoulder, and we were doing between 80 and 100 mph! Didn't even let off the gas, at red lights. Of course, I'm still here, so we didn't crash. Sorry, I guess that's not a horror story, eh? :grinner:Oh wait; I had to ride a bicycle down that to get to the US Embassy, on my way back from Panama- does that count?? :baffled:

Needless to say, I didn't try that on my Goldwing- local talent required, I guess?
 
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