Tag Archives: driving

Gamers who drive while texting…

Addicted to texting? Driving the car getting in the way? Then SMS Racing is for you. Drive around the track while responding to text messages. Complete one lap and you win. The catch is, you have to respond within 10 seconds each time. (via)

Perfect Parking in Blarney

I should blog this at Shite Drivers but this was too good to give up. Sorry Niall!

Perfect Parking in Blarney

What you don’t see is the old SUV (probably new when such vehicles were called 4x4s) that swerved across the road in front of me to block 3 parked cars. The elderly driver waited in the vehicle all the time I was walking about there. I parked across the road by AIB because of the stellar parking of the car above. Good thing most of the tourists are gone home now!

Edit: this is how they should have parked!

I'm not the only one to love the Alfa 147

This evening I watched an old Top Gear where Jeremy Clarkson put an Alfa 147 GTA through it’s paces and compared it to a VW Golf and Ford Focus.

Despite the fact that it will break down, something will fall off, and it’s slower than the other two cars, all three presenters would still buy the Alfa. If you’ve ever owned or driven an Alfa 147 you’ll know exactly what they mean. I read a review of the Alfa 147 in a paper and then months later had the opportunity to test drive one. I fell in love immediately. How could I not buy it? It was a love/hate relationship almost from the start.

The famous Alfa build quality made itself known early on:

  • My Alfa’s dashboard died for absolutely no reason while driving to work one morning. I had to pull over, switch off the engine and start her up again to get things working again.
  • The ABS or Traction Control kicked in going over small potholes. If you know Irish roads you know there are a lot of potholes.
  • Three of the bulbs in the headlights went at exactly the same time and had to be replaced while I was away from Cork.
  • There were other problems with it and I had to bring it back to the garage several times.

I wouldn’t trust it as far as I could throw it but would I buy another Alfa? I’d be awfully tempted..

Here’s what the Top Gear guys think and judge for yourself. Sheer lunacy?

What car have you absolutely adored? What car made your blood boil with passion to drive? What car would make you enjoy a long drive along bumpy roads? Mine’s the Alfa Romeo 147, what’s yours?

Idiots on the road on film

Gardai are investigating a video found on bebo.com made by two lads from Cork. They made a video of themselves driving at 200km/h through the Jack Lynch Tunnel and then posted it on the Internet for all to see. I wonder who did they think would watch the video? Has the video made it outside Bebo yet? Apparently the Gardai have asked Bebo.com to take the video down so it could be gone for good. Pity, it could go down in Irish Internet Folklore.

While we’re waiting, here are two lads who decided to drive at speed through Dublin city center, at least until they passed an unmarked Garda car. (via Blogorrah)

The video might not be playing, but you can view it here still. Not sure why but it’ll probably right itself eventually. Note the comment from the driver:

deloford (2 months ago)
They stopped us because it was an english reg in dub& they thought the car was stolen by a couple of nackers, also you cant see clearly but it was v. bad driving in rain,nearly ran someone down,run red light,speeding in bus lane,a guy videoing it in the front seat which they saw.
Normal cops dont threaten to shoot you and if it was normal cops we’d ave been in the shit. He started to search and got a call.

And this comment was definitely not made by an Irish person, like,

Why is everyone using like at the end of every sentence what ever the fuck that means?!!!

I'm still shaking

This morning I almost went straight into the side of another car on a bend.

I drive Jacinta into work and on my way back via Sunday’s Well I got a strong smell of petrol on the quay. It was raining with water pooling at the side of the road and the tell-tale rainbow of the petrol on the road was everywhere. It hadn’t been there a few minutes earlier and traffic was backed up going out of the city. The wrong way considering it’s the morning and we had been stuck for 15 minutes going in ten minutes previously.

Driving up a hill that’s been plastered with petrol is no fun. Other cars were getting stuck, we were stopped and people were getting impatient. I heard the beeping of a horn from somewhere behind me. We weren’t going anywhere and my view was blocked by the van in front of me. Finally the car in trouble started off again so I let go of the hand brake and pressed the accelerator. Nothing, I barely moved. In desperation I slammed on the hand brake again and took a breath checking my rear view mirror to see how much space I had. I tried again, the speedometer said 20mph but the car was barely moving. I heard an awful whining sound and slowly the car inched forward. Finally the tires gripped the road and slowly I made my way up around the corner. The road was clear ahead of me and I had another obstacle.

There’s a steep hill up and over Sunday’s Well and too late I saw the rainbow hues on that bend but I was committed. Slowly I advanced forward, turning the wheel with the corner but to my horror the car kept going forward, right towards a car. I stopped quickly. Thankfully the brakes held, switched off the ignition and hit the flashers before jumping out in case something had happened to my steering. No, the wheels were turned left but had been skidding on the slick petrol film on the road. I got in and abandoned my attempt to go up the hill, instead taking the longer route down the North Mall and up Blarney Street. At the top of that street were the signs of petrol again but it’s level ground and the road is more porous and didn’t present a problem.

I’m only now calm and not shaking. It gave me an awful scare and I’ll be heading into town a different way this afternoon. The Gardai were called and they had received a few calls already. I passed a Garda van on the way home so hopefully they were on the way down to direct traffic and help people.

I’m glad I’m home.

The bodies keep piling up

I remember something a friend said to me about the UK. He came back for the weekend a month ago and we were catching up. Traffic and road deaths and crazy driving came up in conversation and he said that in the UK they’re nowhere near as obsessed about deaths on the roads as the Irish are. People die here, people die there. So what? It’s part of society. That was shocking to me, but then I remembered that they have an order of magnitude bigger population yet a much lower per-capita death rate on the roads. Why is that?

Damien Blake asks what can be done to stop the carnage on the roads? Up to this morning 55 sites or posts linked to Damien Mulley’s post about Thinkhouse PR. We bloggers can do the same for road deaths. Unfortunately it’s unlikely that the guys doing 200kph are the ones reading blogs. What Damien Blake can do is present our ideas to the people in power. It’s been brought to our attention that no single body has responsibility for the roads. The responsibility is shared so nobody is blamed when things go horribly wrong. Damien can bring our ideas to the attention of all of them. Go read his post, he has some great ideas to start with.

I’ve given up ranting about the bad driving I see. A quick search of my blog brought me back 2 years and I’m still saying the same thing. There will always be idiots, no that’s not right, careless and irresponsible people on the roads. I could go on and on. I could tell you about the idiot in the sports car who tore down Sunday Well past the traffic jam, risking a head on crash, or about all the times people speed past me on the Commons Road. Gardai – post a guy permanently there. He won’t be bored, he’ll have a great time and an empty ticket book when he gets back to the office!

Jeremy Clarkson is so eloquent you’d almost believe him. Almost. Go on, read his car review. Three quarters of it is taken up with his speel against anti-speed campaigners. I am glad he recognises truly bad driving as a danger to the rest of us, but his blase attitude to speeding is doubtless upsetting to anyone affected by speeding incidents.

This follows a weekend in which 7 people lost their lives. A fifth person involved in the Monahan crash died this evening. I heard on the news yesterday morning that the speedometer of one car had frozen at 150kph. Don’t try to say that was simply inappropriate speed. That’s never an appropriate speed on Irish roads! Why were they traveling that fast?

As we are oft to do, the Irish Government is following in the footsteps of the British Government and introducing a proper network of speed cameras to the country. At the moment there are 20 fixed speed cameras with only 3 operating at any one time to serve the whole country but that will be increased to 600 including mobile cameras in the next year. It’s expected that 11.1m checks will be made which means you and I will be checked on average 6 times a year. If you don’t speed you won’t have anything to worry about. The private operators running the system will be paid a flat fee so there’s no incentive for them to catch people. Hopefully it’ll have the same effect that the introduction of the penalty points system had when people were actually afraid of getting caught. I admit it’s scary to think that going 1kph over the speed limit will result in a fine and penalty points, but the manpower isn’t there and nothing else has worked. People don’t respond to the carrot, only the stick.

What should we do? The country can’t be paved with motorways, there will always be back roads and bad roads. I have one suggestion. Time. Offenders should serve time. Haul a speeding driver to the nearest Garda station and hold him there for 6 hours or overnight. He’ll soon forget what he was rushing to. Lock up a drunk driver for a week. Even though it is drastic, can you weigh any solution unfairly against the life of even one victim of our roads?

WordPress developer in near miss auto accident!

Press the button on the traffic light, wait for the green man, walk. It’s simple. Cars generally stop and obey a red light or risk two penalty points if seen by a member of an Garda Siochana. Unfortunately they can’t be at every street junction every hour of the day.

Jacinta and I were walking across the road at the North Gate, a busy intersection, with relatively complicated lights. Pedestrians be warned, wait for the lights! Cars come from all directions! The green man was flashing so it was safe enough, we thought. An ambulance was trying to get through the red light in front of us so we stopped, still, the green man was doing his thing, shaking his stuff, and generally flashing on and off. All’s ok, until there’s the loud blare of a car horn, a louder engine powers a green VW Passat across the junction from North Bridge and swerves just behind us, missing us by perhaps a few inches!

We were shocked, but I looked after them and recognised the same green Volkswagen Passat I had seen two days previously. Dark windows, a big VW badge dangling off the center mirror and the name of some exhaust maker on the back window. That time I had been driving, they were in front of me, and had raced off when lights turned green, lane hopping like there was no tomorrow, in a 50km/h zone. Ironically, they were stuck at the lights going to Mayfield and I passed them a moment later..

It’s a mad world out there, I’ll post a picture of the car next time I see it.

Rage on the road

“Who’s calling me now, must be one of the lads about tonight. No Gardai around, answer phone. Damn bend, must slow down… There they are in that garage! I better stop the car in the middle of the road and shout at them! What the f*ck! The guy behind me blowing his horn at me? F*cker, who does he think he is?”

I’m sure that’s what was going through the mind of the driver in front me who braked suddenly and stopped in the middle of the road to shout abuse at his friends in another car. Lovely.

Ghostrider.. *gulp*

Holy crap, this guy is a lunatic! Driving at up to 290kmh and a little above sometimes, Ghostrider drove the 68km between Stockholm and Uppsala in less than 16 minutes.
In another video he chased a BMW Z3 and both drivers drove like maniacs on public roads. Did you see how the motorcyclist cut in on the inside of a car on a roundabout?

In related news, a new EU report due this week is critical of Ireland’s road safety record. 5 people were killed in one accident alone last weekend. It’s carnage on the roads.