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image of a car on an open road

To me, road safety is paramount wherever you are driving any vehicle. Even the smallest car can become a killing machine in the hands of a reckless driver, or, as we have sadly seen in recent times, in the hands of a terrorist.

I’ve driven cars, vans, tractors, 20 foot lorries and anything in between in Britain, I’ve driven a 4×4 in America, cars on several Caribbean islands and I’ve driven cars in many parts Europe. By far my most favourite place to drive is Australia. Like Britain, drivers are so polite and will always let you go first. Unlike Britain, the roads in Australia, at least in Western Australia, are not at all congested, except perhaps on the two-lane highway around Perth at rush-hour.

On my recent trip to Australia the one thing that concerned me the most was the driving, but I was lucky in respect that the exact same concerns were evident with the police. There are well signed speed-traps as well as a great idea from Satnav Sally to warn me in advance of any speed traps looming. That makes you naturally tend towards driving below the speed limit wherever you are. Coming from the driving environment in Cyprus, this is quite an uncanny thing to observe as all cars and vehicles in front and behind are travelling at a reasonable speed, whereas in Cyprus it can be pure mayhem with all manner of vehicles speeding, undertaking and driving very erratically. I only saw one truck pulled over for speeding in Australia, whereas here in Cyprus I see at least one pulled over on an almost daily basis.

My experience on Los Angeles a few years back was very similar to my Australia experience in January, although on that US trip I did get pulled over for speeding on a highway in the desert on the Arizona border. Though the cop let me off, there’s nothing more disconcerting, to someone not used to guns, than a policeman stopping you, getting out his car and approaching your car with his hand on the butt of a gun in his holster. If I didn’t need the toilet before, I certainly did afterwards!

Tom Kane © 2018

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