4×4 drivers – well, some of them anyway

I have a 4×4. In fact, I – or rather we – have two. A Land Rover Series III and a Santana.

They are not for playing with nor have they ever been. We originally bought the Series III as a work vehicle, so it is not a very clever idea to go out on a Sunday and bust a diff or break a half shaft, when you need to take yourself and your tools to a job on Monday.

But I appreciate that some people have at least one so-called daily driver, and they regard their 4×4 as a toy. They can get very wet, dirty and muddy in their vehicles at the weekend, and if it breaks, they can jump in their shiny Eurobox on Monday and drive off to work, and repair – or get repaired – their toy at their leisure.

I understand there is a strong lobby against 4x4s. Hmmm. I wonder why?

Now what have I read over the past year that could possibly put 4×4 drivers in a bad light? (And this doesnot apply to all 4×4 drivers. Hopefully there are more responsible and considerate ones than there are selfish gits).

How about *some* 4×4 drivers appearing to want not just the green lanes to themselves – or at least priority and for everyone to stop for them to drive past – but also ordinary roads. Apparently cyclists and horses are just a nuisance, don’t pay road tax and so shouldn’t be on the roads. Cyclists should always use cycleways where they are available. They should wear helmets and they should not break the law AT ALL or they should be banned from using the roads ever again. (I paraphrase but I have read this sort of self-opinionated egocentric junk).

It’s a long time since I have ridden a horse (on the road) but I do cycle, and use a helmet, cycling glasses and gloves, and bright clothing too.

One reason why assertive cyclists choose to use the roads, is, because cycleways do not exist everywhere. The more that cyclists are “pushed” metaphorically and literally, off the roads, the more they become treated as second-class citizens on the roads, and car drivers basically do not expect to see them, so do not look out for them. Cyclists have an equal right to be on the roads along with other road users. As do horses, and their riders, or horses/donkeys pulling traps or carts. As do goats, cattle and sheep. Like it or not, arrogant 4×4 drivers.

A few more tips, by the way, on behaving courteously to cyclists. Do not expect them to pull in and get out of your way. Why should they? No fucker will ever let them out again. I have ended up wheeling my bike down the pavement on a narrow road because none of the selfish gits in their cars would let me into the road from – ironically – a cycle path that I had used. Because there is a cyclist in front of you does not mean that you can suddenly invent two lanes of traffic. There are not two. There is one, and that is why cyclists stick well in the middle of the the road so you can’t intimidate them. Do not underestimate their speed either. Even I have had idiots pull out in front of me from a junction because they didn’t realise I am actually moving quite fast (on a good day). Better still – get on a bike and see what it is like on the roads.

Now what else have I read that got seriously up my nose? Of course. Pedestrians. Another bloody nuisance in the scheme of things who should not be allowed on the roads. What are they doing on the roads anyway? Well, sweethearts, they are probably trying to walk from A to B (because they don’t spend all their time sat on their fat arse in a car) on a road that has no pavements. There are a lot of those around. I mean roads without pavements although clearly there are also a lot of idle gits who never get out of their cars.

Or alternatively they may have to walk on the road because some truly selfish arsehole has parked on the pavement. They weren’t going to be there long, obviously, so it really didn’t matter that they parked on the pavement for 20 minutes or half an hour. It was a narrow road, so naturally they just had to park on the pavement because they didn’t want to obstruct the traffic. How about parking further away and walking? Did that enter your head? And if it’s dangerous enough for someone to have to walk in the road because parked cars are blocking the pedestrian routes, what do you think it is like for old people, people with sticks, walking frames, shopping trollies, wheelchairs, or younger people with prams and pushchairs?

Get the pedestrians off the roads – but we can park on their pavements and obstruct their journey.

Are there double standards here? Or am I reading too much into it?

Perhaps I should start on the real controversial areas – preventing 4x4s using green lanes.

Quite honestly, going out for a quiet walk in the countryside is absolutely no fun at all when a load of vehicles come past. Who has to stop? Not the walker, or the mountain biker, or the horse rider. No, toad is king of the road as usual. Parp, parp. Move. Right now. I need to come by.

And because I am a fair person, I will also add that even cyclists and horses can be a nuisance too. Horses primarily because they carve up the paths so much in wet weather. Cyclists less so to be honest unless there is a huge group of them. But at least there is enough room for us all on the same track.

So I can see why people don’t like 4x4s with all their bling attachments churning up the environment and polluting it with fumes. Each to their own, but going and ruining someone else’s playground and their day out is pretty selfish. What’s wrong with a pay and play site? Oh, one, you have to pay and two, it just is not exciting enough is it?

And what do these nice 4×4 drivers say to try and diffuse the bad publicity they get? They make really funny jokes about squashing ramblers – and anyone else who argues with them – against their really big macho vehicles. Very funny. Totally lacking in taste, sensitivity and humour. And you all wonder why there is a problem in the public eye about 4×4 drivers.

I’ll finish with a slight variation on the theme.

Remember when I said I had read that all cyclists should be prosecuted for breaking the law, they inconvenience other road users etc etc.

Well, I would be one seriously better-off woman if I had say, £1 for every time I have read about 4×4 drivers talking about speeding. And they are so proud of it too. Because that is what real drivers do. They go fast, because they can. They know their vehicle, they are good drivers, they are in charge. The road is theirs.

Anyone who doesn’t go fast enough to keep up with the flow of traffic should also not be allowed to drive. I have got this one right haven’t I? Anyone who does not go above the speed limit and prevents you thoughtless toerags from going as fast as you want illegally should be prevented from driving?

My theory is, that these boy racers whether in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, or 70s want to get rid of pedestrians, cyclists, horses, non-speeding drivers and any other interference in their life, because they want more space for themselves. They need to go fast, don’t forget.

Well, I have a counter proposal. How about taking you tossers off the road for speeding all the time? It would leave the rest of us law-abiding tax-paying citizens a lot more space.

Speed kills.

But that doesn’t apply to you does it? Just like you the law doesn’t either because you know better, although you are fast enough to criticise everyone else.

2 COMMENTS:

Anonymous said…
Nice good one mate.ABJ
25 FEBRUARY 2008 21:03
Marvin said…
oh a good rant here.K is a weekend cyclist and I have cycled in the past, and been dealt with nothing but bad vibes the whole time.There is also, a snobbery within 4 x 4 drivers.If I meet them socially, the ones who drive the biggies, with all the flash stuff, they look down on little ole me, with my 3 door Toyota Rav 4, and sneer.Oh that is not a 4 x 4! They scoff.Well I did not buy it to be looked down upon or scoffed at, I bought it because I loved the Rav. No other reason. Ok not a Landy but it is still a good car.And it is the reason we can get home up our steep steep steep snow bound hill in the deep mid winter, and leave others languishing behind us!Love from Suburban J xxxxxxx with a Suburban 4 x 4, I think Ken Livingstone calls my kind, Chelsea Tractors!
27 FEBRUARY 2008 22:45
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