Tuesday, 16 February 2010

How about some instructive Irish road safety adverts, for once?


Had a well-earned day off yesterday, and went for one of my spins through Wicklow, taking in the Pine Forest, The Sally Gap, Roundwood, Glendalough, The Wicklow Gap, Blessington, and back to beautiful Dublin 15.

As you can imagine, the recent spell of snow and ice has done little to enhance the road surfaces in the Wicklow uplands, with a new proliferation of craters and potholes (especially on the road from Sally Gap towards Roundwood and Glendalough). My car has a suspension like a solid block of Ruhr steel and sits around 2 millimetres above the road surface (made for Autobahns, you see), so if you find any of my fillings or lumbar disks lying around on the road out there, please get in touch.

But the really scary bit was the M50, coming home. The good news is that they’ve widened it to three lanes now. The bad news is that if Irish drivers couldn’t use a motorway with two lanes, they haven’t a hope in hell of using one with three.  In fact, I expect Ireland to (again) buck international trends and become the only country with a higher death rate on its motorways than on its single-carriageway roads.

The M50 is a frightening place, with traffic going faster in the inside lane (assuming it's not just left empty) than the overtaking lane (which contains the most traffic). The middle lane changes in tempo, with traffic sometimes travelling faster then either of the other lanes, sometimes slower.  All trucks occupy the middle lane, without fail. The truth of the matter is that most Irish drivers simply have not grasped the principle of the motorway.

Sadly, that’s unlikely to change, as the Government and the RSA don’t seem interested in educating them – opting to go for silly, sensationalist, driver “education” as featured in the ad above, where little Oisin gets flattened in the garden by a mascara-wearing drunk’s somersaulting, ESP bereft,  banger.  “Could you live with the shame?” it says. What, the shame of starring in such an embarrassingly awful advert? No.

How about some ads simply informing Irish motorists how to drive? Especially on those new-fangled three-lane motorways.

Back to Gombeen Nation main page

20 comments:

Das.Ding said...

I suddenly understand, why most irish homes have a wall around the garden instead of a fence...

But yes irish motorists leave a lot to be desired, especially on the three lane sections of the M50.

I maintain that the irish need a proper motoring education, mandatory driving school with state certified instructor, no more "L"-driving. And proper enforcing of it. I haven't been asked for my license once in all those years in Ireland and i've been through a lot of checkpoints.

The Gombeen Man said...

They're more interested in checking our tax discs, DD.

Bernd said...

Ah, Gombeen Man and Das.Ding, when will you ever stop complaining about Irish drivers ... how can they be expected to be better than the guards enforcing the rules of the road. Witness Capel Street (Dublin) this weekend, which was closed due to salvage work. And where the guards managed to put up signs in such a way that no less than three one-way-streets became cul-de-sacs. Finally one driver did the sensible bit ... and drove flat over the Garda signage, then down the next one-way-street the wrong way.

By the way ... when I pointed this out to a guard on point duty, all I got was a blank stare. Guess she was working to rule or something.

The Gombeen Man said...

I've seen those blank stares alright, Bernd. Think it's part of the Templemore curriculum. Either that or they're just... no, I won't say it.

Anonymous said...

Standard of driving in Ireland/Dublin? Dont make me cry laughing! There is none. Chaos personified (of course because its Ireland even that is inconsistent. Sometimes its dangerous chaos). I cant understand why some Irish drivers do what they do. A few cents short of a euro?.

Irish people cant drive responsibly and there is very little enforcement. The attitude is rough and ready, driving in Dublin says a lot about the culture.

M50 is another joke and an expensive one at that.

Signage??? Where??? Some one told me its a hangover from occupation?!! All to do with a fear to tell strangers what they want to know.

Anonymous said...

Bernd. Saw similar action myself at one stage!! Alot of the problems in Dublin are all to do with fear and frustration.

atoast2toast said...

roundabouts that defy the rules of the road , speed limit signs turned backwards, sat nav vortex
- this morning I even saw 2 gardai parked up in their car lying back ready to fall asleep

http://atoast2toast.com/2009/06/09/traffic-fail/

http://atoast2toast.com/2009/07/10/m50-wtf/

Anonymous said...

atoast2toast, LOL!!!..........It just gets stranger every day. Its unique!!!! When it comes to driving on this island forget the rules of the road (or been decent to fellow drivers) just pray you make your journey safely and without feeling like you have done something wrong, for simply using the rational side of your brain.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Anon. Drivers being decent to each other (and other road users) is all too rare, isn't it? I mean, I always let people out of junctions - but the number of idiots I encounter who don't reciprocate are off the scale. Do they never come out of minor roads themselves? I think they're just thick, to be honest. Welcome to the blog, BTW. Give's a handle for yourself there (even a makey-up one like mine!).

@ atoast2toast. Thanks for the comment and the links. You've got some great pictures there. Now a pic of our friends snoozing away in the squad car would be priceless!!!

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

GM, yes its a pity its gone like that. It stepped up a couple of notches in the last 3 to 4 years. (You mention junctions, gives me goose bumps just thinking about them).

One thing I've noticed is not only the complete disregard for other drivers, theres something else as well. When I say disregard, I dont just mean disrespect but theres also a very distasteful nastyness there as well. (You just dont get it to the same extent anywhere else). You just know you would'nt like to meet these people in a social situation. They show themselves to be spoiled, stupid, egotistical, twats.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such a great blog.

Dakota

The Gombeen Man said...

Cheers Dakota - and thanks for your comments too.

Your observations are correct. It makes me laugh in the context of the "2 wheels good (if unmotorised)" "four wheels bad" debate going on here. An ignorant, bad-minded twat is an ignorant, bad-minded twat whether they travel via a pushbike, a motorbike or a car. And there a lots of them in Ireland, sadly.

Anonymous said...

Yes totally agree. Its not only cars, bicycles and motorcycles seem to come out of nowhere, sometimes and cut in in front of you, and its always the same response, if you happen to react, they look at you as if to say "yeah well whats wrong?" Add this to the far more infureating pedestrians who think there is no difference between the public path and the road. Some even walk out onto a busy road at a blind corner, if a a car was to come round at speed they would be just another stat. They seem completely oblivious. Or maybe suicidal?

Although they drive me nuts, at times, in defence of push bikes and motor cycles I would be completely petrified to use a two wheeled vehicle around Dublin now.

As for twats, there must be a concelaed factory churning them out somewhere?!

Dakota

atoast2toast said...

thanks Gombeenman!

The gardai and revenue wait at the m50 exit at cherrywood every few weeks to sieze cars from foreigners. I might stop and record them next time.

I agree with so many of the comments here, it seems if you have a big car you can stick on the flashers and you have carte blanche.

Check this example out, it says it all
organizedrage.com

Anonymous said...

toast2toast, that really does say it all. Thing is, if this woman would do that in a disabled drivers bay, what would she do on the road? I've seen so many of these yobs.

Dakota

Bernd said...

Ah ... parking spaces for the disabled ... great theme!

How about this far more efficient use - park your idiotic advert on it ... by the way, they ceased doing this a week or so after the blog post appeared with full contact details. Might be a coincidence.

Or give praise to Cavan's finest, the firefighting fraternity - parking their van for a quick getaway in a handy(capped?) space. For hours. During a conference. And with about a hundred free spaces on the other side of the building.

Some people have not copped on to the idea that these parking spaces are for the use of PHYSICALLY handicapped persons.

The Gombeen Man said...

Thanks for the pics, atoast2toast and Bernd. They say it all... and it proves (to me, anyway) that ignorant prats in Ireland come from all walks of life. In that respect, we are truly egalitarian.

On the subject of the able-bodied blocking (physically) disabled parking spaces, a trip out to Tescos Maynooth on a Saturday (or any day, actually) can be instructive. There you will see hordes of lazy ignoramusi parking over the wheelchair markings and striding, Lourdes-miracle-like, for the supermarket entrance.

Anonymous said...

Bernd, I think the majority of these people do know what the significance of the bay is, the real problem is they do it anyway, alot of them with pompous smugness.

Dakota

The Gombeen Man said...

It's the old Me Feiner thing again, Dakota, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Yeah GM lovely isnt it. 15 years of wealth etc.....

Dakota