Why you shouldn’t drive slowly in the outside lane

If you drive on the correct side of the road like people in Ireland and a few other enlightened countries do, the outside lane is the right hand lane. The rest of the world bizarrely drives on the other side so they should avoid the left lane. 😉

As the AA says, there’s no such thing as the “fast lane”.

There’s no such thing as a ‘fast lane’ on a motorway. Traffic should always cruise in the left hand lane. The right hand lane is for overtaking other vehicles; it’s also used when approaching a slip road in order to let traffic join the motorway from the left. On a three-lane or multi-lane motorway the same rules apply. Keep to the left as much as possible. Traffic should never be in the right-hand lane on motorways if the left hand lane is clear.

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.