The speed limits on many roads around Dublin City (Ireland) have been reduced to 30km/h over the last year or so. I cycle quite a lot and my average speed around the city happens to also be in the region of 30km/h. Oddly enough, I am regularly overtaken by cars who often also shout abuse or blow their horns mid manoeuvre.
Unless I’m missing something, leaving the abuse and the often dangerous nature of such over taking aside, I can only deduce by process of elimination that if I’m travelling at 30km/h and I’m being over taken, then the vehicles over taking me are in fact also breaking the speed limit. Why would they do this?!
In the interests of better understanding this issue, having been overtaken on a blind bend, over a traffic calming ramp and just ahead of junction, by an SUV the other day, I decided to ask the driver if he thought his driving was save when I quickly caught up with him at the next junction. I made sure to point out that I wasn’t giving out to him - I just wanted to ask him if he thought his manoeuvre was a safe one to make given the circumstances. “But your only on a bicycle was his answer”.
This morning I was driving a sports tuned car with nearly 200bhp well before dawn. It was a freezing morning, the air temperature was not much above 0 C and the vehicle was regularly reminding me of the freezing road temperature. As I drove just under the speed limit, a tanker truck twice attempted to undertake me, honking its horn, at two separate junctions. Another lorry aggressively honked it’s horn at me, as it squeezed between me and a van pulled over in a bus lane, to undertake me a another section of my journey.
I wonder if I had the opportunity to ask either of those two drivers whether they thought they were driving safely would the response be “but you are only driving a car”?! Seriously though, what is going on with road safety in this country?! Are speed limits not an indication of maximum speed rather than a target that have to be beaten? Do people think that the rules of the road don’t apply to them in the early hours of the morning or that the presence of push cycles somehow provides a special wavier that renders the rules of the road irrelevant?!
We all live as part of an ecosystem and when some participants in that ecosystem decide that their needs are more important than the needs of everybody else then chaos ensues. To the drivers that think it’s ok to dangerously overtake bicycles or other vehicles because they are adhering to the rules of the road, please bear in mind that those rules were have been carefully thought up to ensure the safety of all road users.
If you don’t like these rules then maybe you should consider an alternative career or means of getting around the place as an alternative to taking your frustrations on other road users who endeavour to drive carefully and safely on our shared, public roads.