18 January 2011

Cheers, mate!

If you have ever been in a car with me, you know that anger rages through me like a curry to a drunk. Now that I'm getting used to driving, I'm noticing many differences within the vehicular cultures, and frankly, the UK tops America in the "better driver" department.


1. There is a slow lane, a medium-paced lane, and a passing/fast lane on all motorways. And people actually abide or you risk getting pulled over. In America, the left lane (of a two-land highway) is reserved for passing, but usually there is some mindless a-hole who still doesn't get it and just sits there.

2. Almost no one honks their horn. I've been warned by several that if you honk your horn, it's a sign of aggression. And when it comes to aggression, the seemingly relaxed English people will go from 0 to 60 in under 10 seconds, get out of the car and beat you.

3. Adversely - and this is my FAVORITE! - 98% of drivers will thank you profusely for letting them into traffic. They will wave, often give you a thumbs up, and the other day an 80-year old man actually blew me a kiss. It warms my heart just thinking about it.

4. Despite the initial confusion, roundabouts are a traffic flower. You could theoretically travel hundreds of miles and never actually come to a complete stop.

5. Speed cameras are placed throughout England. If you're caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 10%, a ticket is sent to your house. If you receive so many tickets, you're banned from driving. I'm still fuzzy on the details, but needless to say, my brother would own a very nice bicycle if he lived here.

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