My name is Susan & I suffer from road rage.
Some of you here tonight know my car, and for those who don’t here’s a picture.
As you can see she’s not only little in size, but in consumption & she also has pink bits. But don’t let any of this fool you, this little girl, all 1100cc’s, is mighty. Faithful maintenance by the omnipotent Tony means she runs at her best, making this itty bitty putt putt car a wolf in sheep’s clothing - in the hands of a competent driver.
We’re told we all believe we’re competent drivers & that we out drive our skills. And from my fortnightly trips to Wellington for endless inconclusive meetings, I can attest that most of you indeed do & my dash-cam proves this.
I had to get a dash-board-camera, no one would believe just what I am subjected to. I understand others often don’t find driving as naturally easy as I do. We all know these kinds of situations, some of you probably from the side I rail against.
The ‘safe driver’ at 20kms below the speed limit everywhere: That’s 80 in a 100 zone, 50 in a 70 zone and 30 in a 50 zone – while profanities may occur, this depends on how long I’ve been on the road, but these drivers are relatively easy to pass.
The straight road driver: Drops 30 – 50kms to round the slightest bend, only getting their speed up in time to brake for the next – This often gets me swearing and these drivers can be hard to pass.
The oblivious driver: these ones come in & out of side streets, pull in & out without looking or indicating. These drivers are most notable for the multi-dented corners & side mirrors that are replaced only at WoF time. Anyone been to Kaikohe? This no longer surprises me there!
The ‘balls will drop off’ driver: Irrespective of gender this driver refuses to allow others to pass. Prevention techniques such as speeding up when there’s a passing lane – of course only to slow down at the end, driving into the right lane in a passing lane, swerving in front when you’re trying to overtake or undertake as you’ve no choice – Can cause a mild explosion, especially when repeated. I once had a five passing lane experience – that was a major explosion.
And the worst of all, the combination driver. Drives 20kms below the speed limit for safety, brakes heavily for a slight bend is completely oblivious to the 20 vehicle tail and speeds up in the passing lane and... And to insult... often flashes their lights in indignation if you’ve dared to pass like it’s you who’s transgressed. I often find myself pressing a blank on my dash – that’s where the rocket launcher button should be.
During my last trip down, just north of Hunterville, the road too busy to allow much ‘wrong side overtaking’, I was second in a 10 car line up being tortured at 80kms on the straight, braked hard to 60 for over the rail lines, finally an uphill passing lane. I was prepared! I’d dropped a gear, my revs were up, indicator on I pulled to the right as the passing lane opened. The late model SUV, had found its mirrors and wasn’t going to be overtaken, floored it. Right up to the curve – 115kms for me no worries, the SUV however needed its entire lane and most of mine to round the corner, which I ceded for safety of course. I did get past this pristine urban assault vehicle, that had no towbar & had never been off road, but was driven solely for the safety of its rigid chassis and lack of energy absorbing crumple zone. I won’t repeat my road rage expletives, but if my mum was a fish wife & dad a sewer rat, I’d have done them proud!
My little car is often underestimated, and overlooked. I passed a cop doing closer to 130 than not, he looked at his screen, at my car and back as I passed. To this day I wonder if he sent his radar in for recalibration after that. While I don’t intentionally invite trouble that Hamilton north bypass road is delicious and I dream most of the 944kms being like that.
At a passing land South of Hamilton, again second in a queue at 80 with a Trans Am behind me I allowed the Trans Am to go into the passing lane first, far be it from me to hold up a faster car but it never passed 90 & stayed in the right lane, so I undertook. Maybe it was low on gas, or high on demerit points. But Tony, honey, I still want that truck or train horn installed in her, please!
I’m a fairly quiet person, I don’t often get riled up and it takes a lot to get me there, I just get frustrated when people intentionally block my progress or seem to go out of their way to try & kill me. I’m not sure it’s road rage, I think it’s fair enough.