Plain Clothes Police: Just Plain Underhand
I was out the other weekend filming how cars pass traffic islands - how much of the road they take up, what their position was, and how fast they were travelling.
The strange thing was that while I was stood next to the road filming, all the driving seemed to absolutely exemplary. For some reason, everyone was driving as if they were either
- Taking their driving test
- On their way home from the office Christmas party, where they’d had a small glass of sherry, but were now being followed by the police
- Newly-licensed drivers demonstrating to their girlfriend’s father how safe they were on the roads, and please can I now take your daughter for a drive into a nice secluded location (and believe me, as the father of a daughter, I’m never falling for that one. In fact, she should consider herself grounded for the next thirty years just to prevent such things).
I was standing astride my winterised training bike at the side of the road, wearing sensible black fleece-lined tights, a hi-viz long-sleeve top as a base layer, and my "Share the road" jersey over the top as a windstopper.
I have no idea what was influencing driver behaviour in such a positive manner. If only they’d drive like that the rest of the time.
Anyway, this video that appeared on the Bristol Traffic blog earlier in the week got me thinking.
It’s not the issue of how differently drivers seem to act when they perceive a police man around that I’m concerned about. No, it’s more the fact that they are able at all to moderate their driving at all in response to this subtle change in their environment.
In other words, the drivers in the video seem to have a choice about how they drive. They are aware that their actions can have consequences - in this case getting ticketed or not.
Yet more weight to the proposition that there’s no such thing as an accident?