I have just been out for a ride around on the bicycle and have been amazed at how little traffic there is about. This seems to be largely down to the government having extended their Bad Driver initiative so that the drivers who are obliged to fly the flags with red crosses are no longer allowed to drive on Saturday afternoons. It also appears that the bad drivers are obliged to stay in their homes for the afternoon. Or is it just that without their cars they are at a loss as to how to move around1? Certainly there are a lot of people sitting in their living rooms with the windows open shouting a lot, I imagine about the unfairness of not being allowed to drive their cars or even to just go outside on such a lovely summer’s afternoon.
Perhaps the government could extend this laudable scheme so that the drivers are not allowed to drive at certain other times in the week either. This would give the rest of us a bit of peace and during these times we could walk or cycle with less fear of being exterminated by homicidal maniacs in large metal boxes. Mind you, having heard all the shouting, I’m not entirely sure that we should risk the possibility of turning the whole country into a large simulacrum of a Victorian-style Lunatic Asylum.
I still have not seen any official pronouncement about this initiative and so can only conclude that the government has decided to go into Stealth Mode and not bother to tell any of us what they’re doing at all.
1 Here’s a clue guys: you stand up so that your legs are under the upper part of your body and then extend one leg in front of you, slightly bent at the knee. When you overbalance slightly, the foot on the extended leg will touch the ground. At that point you push backward with the foot. You then move the other leg forward and repeat the operation. Once you’ve got the hang of it you should find you develop an almost unconscious rhythm and move forward at quite a decent speed. With practice you may even be able to learn to change direction. You may even find it quite a pleasant experience2.
2 Once you’ve mastered this technique you may find you sometimes have a need to move around a little faster. For this you can buy, for less than the cost of about four tanks of petrol, quite a decent example of a machine called a bicycle. Using this requires a different technique but once you’ve mastered it you should find you can move around your town or city rather quickly. Indeed, you may find that your journeys take less time than they currently do in your car. There are a couple of other advantages too — you will no longer need special permission to use the Public Highway (your right to do so comes to us from Ancient Times) and, and this is the biggie, the flying of the flag will now be entirely voluntary.
Posted 10 June 2006, 15:47 BST