Saturday, 23 July 2011

Speed bumps... how to take them without a Marauder.

I am sick of “speed” bumps, I really am. They do not work.

Put it this way, they do nothing to deter dozy, unobservant, inattentive drivers... and isn’t driving without due care and attention one of the more serious charges that can be laid at a driver’s door sill?

I have lost count of the times that I have taken a bump with due care and consideration for my chassis’ transgress over said obstacle, with my rear-view mirror full of Renault. I have lost count of the times I have had to have my wheels re-aligned to make them safe for road use as a result.

So now I have two choices. I buy a car with sufficient go-anywhere capability and ground clearance to negotiate a Darndale-style speed bump without slowing down, or I develop a new technique.

The car in the picture above is called a Marauder. Although it only has a top speed of - at most, 115km/h - it can take speed bumps as though they do not exist, as it has enough ground clearance and under-body armour plating to distance itself from your average Taliban mine. The local council, nor the polar bears,  do not have a chance. Nor does anyone who blocks you in when you are shopping (see pic). However, most of us do not have the best part of half-a-million Euro to spare, after Irish VRT.

Most speed bumps were installed after some nosey, interfering neighbour requested them at a local residents’ committee meeting – which the vast majority of residents do not attend. Possibly scandalised by the sound  of “boy racers” driving slow Fiat Puntos with noisy exhausts, he/she – after a long spell of curtain twitching – decided to push the council to stamp out the menace in the interests of “safety”. Never mind the fact that road deaths are at an all-time low.

Here is my advice - though I am not saying I do this myself, garda:

When you come up to a speed bump that a residents’ group has demanded, simply change down to first gear and blip your throttle generously. Then, in order to put some distance between yourself and the idiot behind you who takes no notice of road conditions, mash your foot to the floor and rev your engine up to the maximum. This should give you sufficient momentum to piss off the locals who are keeping up to date with life by watching “Fair City” in their front-facing living rooms. It will also prevent you from being rear-ended.

Sadly, this means that you are forced to drive faster – and more noisily too - in areas with speed bumps, in order to distance yourself from such unwanted automotive intimacy. It entails more air and aural pollution, but it will keep the residents happy

 At least the ones on the committee.

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Ponybump said...

There's a bunch of streets in Brisbane which have been named after famous Hollywood stars and singers. There's Metro Crescent, Goldwyn Drive, Sinatra Place and so on. The one I like best is Parton Street. Believe it or not - it's got two of the massivest speed bumps I've ever seen (and right next to each other too). Nice to know that somewhere out there in the grey drab world of offices where town planners ply their trade, someone somehow managed to have a little fun.

The Gombeen Man said...

Parton Street - I love it. Actually, I think Dolly herself would like that one. Those two.

Dakota said...

Half a million € GM for such an illustrious automobile. Small change to Paddy and Mary. One commentator in the IT this week sites such rudimentary sums as been a factor in the present malise of the Irish public. Not wanting to ruffle any feathers and all that. Anyway GM, no wonder you are considering such a fab Hummer Saracen hybrid. By the way surprised the Hummer never caught on here. If ever there was a land this was/is it.....

The Gombeen Man said...

Now you say it, Dakota, it does bear more than a passing resemblance to a Saracen.

As for Hummers, yes - the only one I ever see these days is the one driven by that Hutch character.

Whatever happened to the Bank of Waddington, eh?