Tue | Sep 17, 2019

Revisiting old-school driving

Published:Wednesday | June 12, 2019 | 12:15 AM
In this April 2018 file photo, a Volkswagen SUV and a Honda motor car collided on Trafalgar Road in Kingston.
In this April 2018 file photo, a Volkswagen SUV and a Honda motor car collided on Trafalgar Road in Kingston.

Hello, mi neighbour! On behalf of Jamaica’s road users, I’d like to clarify a few things for ‘transportation specialists’, specifically those operating in Kingston and St Andrew.

Most road users do not approve of your driving skills, rules and fake road codes. We are from the old school: did driving lessons, sat a written exam and did road test, etc. Some of us had to repeat the test several times until the examiner was convinced of our ‘roadworthiness’. Examiners would fail us for improper lane changing, lack of steering control, distracted driving, confusion at four-way stops, driving too slowly or too fast, and improper parking, etc.

Coming from that old school, many of us do not exceed speed limits, because it is illegal. Please note that we do drive on the left, except for when overtaking or turning right. Before slowing down, stopping, turning or changing lane, we check our rear-view mirror and signal our intention, in order not to inconvenience others or cause an accident. You’ll notice that we don’t travel too closely to the vehicle ahead of us, but allow at least one car length or two car lengths on wet roads.

So schooled, do not overtake at:

n Pedestrian crossing

n Railway crossing

n Road junction

n Curve or bend

n Brow of a hill

n Humpback bridge

n Where the road narrows, etc.

We ‘nnneverrrr’ overtake at hard or soft shoulders or at a continuous white line in the centre of the roadway. If someone is about to overtake us, we do the safe and intelligent thing: move closer to the left, and reduce our speed.

Please see with us, but at intersections or road junctions, we bring the motor vehicle to a complete stop at all ‘stop’ signs and proceed only when it is safe to do so. At a traffic light-controlled junction, we proceed only on the green light, and do not enter an intersection on red or amber. If we are already in the intersection when the amber comes on, we proceed cautiously. We also ensure that at junctions controlled by traffic lights, we do not enter the filter-arrow lane where there is a green arrow signal, unless we intend to turn in the direction shown by the arrow. Please note, also, that we do not block intersections, although we may have the right of way – green light and all.

Until next time, hope you understand us a little better and can work with us because we really CANNOT work with you – not so skilful.

Now for a little public service announcement on behalf of road safety:

n Extend courtesy and consideration to all other road users.

n Give plenty room to pedestrians, especially in wet weather.

n Slow down when approaching a pedestrian crossing or school, and always be prepared to stop.

n When turning at a road intersection, always give way to pedestrians.

n Before pulling out of a parking position, signal your intention and make sure you can do so safely.

n Never stop your vehicle opposite a parked vehicle if, by doing so, you will obstruct traffic.

We may not achieve perfection, but let’s try. Despite my road alertness, I go to the Traffic Court soon, for unknowingly obstructing traffic? We pray for safety.

Thanks to neighbours

n David, St Andrew, for offering to assist neighbours.

n Esmie, St Andrew, giving queen-size mattress.

n Neighbour, St Andrew, for female clothing.

n Neighbour, St Andrew, for men’s shoes and clothing.

Neighbours’ requests

n Neighbour, unemployed, desperately needs a mattress.

n Latoya, Portland, desperately in need of clothing for baby.

n Sister Daley, St Thomas, wheelchair-bound and badly needs a TV.

n Bro Harvey, Clarendon, asking for a second amplifier to play gospel music.

n Sister Carmen, St Catherine, needs a stove and a radio.

To help, please call Silton Townsend at 334-8165, 884-3866, or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. Alternatively, send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR, c/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10. Paypal/credit card. Email: zicron22@yahoo.com. Contact email: helloneighbour@yahoo.com. Visit hellomineighbourja.blogspot.com. Mr Townsend exclusively manages the collections and distributions mentioned in this column and is neither an employee nor agent of The Gleaner.