From: Justin Credible on

"Farmer Giles" <Giles(a)> wrote in message
> Hello Jo
> I've been driving for 47 years, and I think in that time I mght have made
> the occasional mistake! We have all done similar things, to what you
> describe, on occasions. In the circumstances that you found yourself you
> did ok - although, perhaps, it might have been better if you had exercised
> a bit more patience and not tried to overtake when you did. New drivers
> almost invariably feel pressured by other drivers. The important thing to
> (always) remember is that safety is paramount, so ignore other drivers -
> who are often aggressive and self-righteous (and wrong!). When I was
> teaching my daughter to drive, I remember that she was always overly
> concerned about what other drivers were thinking - was she driving too
> slowly, taking too much time at road junctions, etc, etc - I always told
> her to ignore other drivers, and simply do what she thought was best - and
> what was safe. I give the same advice to you.

But where do you draw the line?

I have been driving since 1981 (not as long as you) but for 16 years of that
I was driving 65,000 miles a year.

In short, I've driven more miles than most motorists will ever rack up in a
lifetime. And all of that without a single conviction or accident.

So I reckon I'm qualified to comment.

An example of "where do you draw the line?": my wife and I, having enjoyed
a very enjoyable "two courses for �7.95" lunch at Chiquitos, left the area
and came upto a roundabout in the outside lane, intending to turn right.
It's a very busy roundabout on a Saturday (it also serves the local Mall)
and we pulled up behind a young lad in a Clio displaying a green P plate.

So I knew he was a novice and left the appropriate gap in case he rolled

So we sat and waited. And waited. And waited. And watched as at least
three clear opportunities for him to pull out were disregarded.

I used the room I'd left between his car and mine to flip through on the
inside and within 3 seconds I was away.

Alas, an unmarked police vehicle witnessed the manoeuvre and pulled me.
Made me sit in his car, did a PNC check, checked the vehicle's insurance
status and said "what you did was perfectly safe but you were in the wrong
lane, don't do that again". I explained why I'd done it which, initially,
fell on deaf ears.

The kicker? I glanced back at the roundabout and the novice driver was
**still** sat there waiting to emerge...........accompanied by a whole queue
of cars. I pointed to the novice and said to the cop who'd pulled me "he's
still there, you might want to go and give him a hand" to which the response
was "mmmm, I'm sure they give driving licences away with Cornflake packets".

He bid me farewell and I went on my way. He'd made his point and I'd made

From: Phil L on
Cynic wrote:
> I suggest you refrain from posting to Usenet until you feel less
> inadequate and can avoid the temptation to compensate for your low
> self-esteem by posting mindless insults to people who *do* realise
> their imperfections and are attempting to get advice to better
> themselves.
> To the OP - what doesn't kill you will make you stronger.

Or kill someone else.

Phil L
RSRL Tipster Of The Year 2008

From: Paul on
On 18 July, 14:39, Jo <joanna.hamilto...(a)> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I'm quite shaken as I had a brush with the grim reaper today :(
> Coming off a roundabout, I was driving along an A-road immediately
> behind a horse carriage doing 20 mph in a 60 mph road. I was about 150
> yards past the roundabout and a queue of cars had built up behind me.
> I felt pressured into overtaking the horse carriage. It was too slow
> for 3rd gear and I was in 2nd gear. The horse carriage seemed to speed
> up as I was overtaking them (but can't be sure). I sped up to about
> 30mph and was now astride the rear wheels of the vehicle. I fumbled
> the 2-3rd gear change (seemed stuck and cost me a few seconds to try
> again) and oncoming traffic lead by a truck was now too close. There
> was enough space if I didn't fumble the 2-3rd gear change and didn't
> expect my spot behind the horse trailer to be closed up so quickly
> So having no choice I floored the accelerator to 60mph on 3rd gear.
> The oncoming traffic went to the left of their lane to make way for me
> and three vehicles were astride at one point.
> If you were in that situation what would you have done? I couldn't
> have gone back and it seems the only way was to get past and in front
> of the horse trailer.
> Thanks for any advice. Please don't flame me I'm a new driver and my
> confidence has been badly shaken today already :(
> Jo

Was it a horse carriage or horse trailer, the two things are very
different? and the way you approach and overtake them are also.

You never ever overtake a horse and carriage if there's any sign of
oncoming traffic. The idea is to overtake making as little noise as
possible (eg no high revving of engines) keeping as far away from the
horse as possible, eg as close to the opposite side of the road as you

It doesn't matter how many much traffic is behind you, there will be a
damn sight more if you spook the horse or have an accident.

If you're just overtaking a slow moving vehicle, keep well back to
gain a clear view of the road ahead, overtake when it is safe to do

Don't ever be bullied or panicked into making the wrong decision you
could end up losing your own life or killing someone else.

From: Paul on

> I think it was a horsetrailer, drawn by a truck.  No horse-drawn
> vehicle is going to be going 20 mph, let alone be suspected of
> speeding up much.

You've obviously never been to a harness racing meeting (sometimes
called sulky racing).

These things reach well over 20mph (probably nearer 35 to 40mph) and
most people who know little about them would probably describe one as
a carriage.

If you ever get the chance go to one of the race meetings, these
things hurtle round the track (a small oval), often they're neck and
neck as well.

From: Paul on
> a horse carriage would be something to carry a horse, as opposed to a
> horse-drawn carriage or a horse and carriage.

No, that would be a horse trailer or horse box, in the UK anyway.

(That's from someone who's father owned owned horses, horse trailers
and horse boxes)

I understood it to be a horse and carriage, a trailer or box (that's a
wagon or small truck by the way) may be slower moving, but should/
will not be driving at 20 MPH, unless they are moving up through the
gear range and accelerating away. Then they shouldn't be overtaken
anyway (some modern trucks can accelerate almost as quickly as lower
powered cars )