Letter: Stronger penalties needed for reckless driving

David Moorse says he was witness to a near head-on collision last week and questions whether stronger penalties for reckless driving should be considered.

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We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This by David Moorse. Ed

When is it apparently OK to drive on the wrong side of the road and accelerate towards oncoming traffic?

Although my recollection of the highway code says differently, if a recent evening’s little trip to drop off a friend’s car for its MOT and service is anything to go by, there are two situations when it appears to be appropriate driving procedure on the Isle of Wight.

Firstly, in Whitwell at about 5:15pm, a lady cheerfully drove directly at my car with a closing speed of around 50mph, completely oblivious that she made me do an emergency stop as she was clearly in deep conversation on her mobile phone – she was so close I could clearly see the colour of its cover, not quite sure if I got the serial number right or not!

Lack of understanding when overtaking cyclists
Secondly, and this happened twice on my return journey between Godshill and Whiteley bank at around 5:50 (I was now cycling after dropping off the car at Niton Undercliff).

It appears that it is OK to drive on the wrong side of the road and accelerate towards oncoming traffic, making them swerve or brake severely if you are overtaking a bicycle!

On the first occasion I was nearly a witness to a head-on collision (closing speed in excess of 60mph), then, on a blind corner, a 4×4 revved past me and cut in sharply to avoid the on-coming double-decker bus which was clearly too small for the 4×4 driver to notice – it was only as it was cutting in that I realised that it wasn’t just a 4×4, but it was towing a long trailer (approx 5m) carrying around four kayaks. I had to leave the road to avoid becoming road-kill.

The huge amount of time that the driver saved by overtaking me was clearly demonstrated as I pulled up by him at the traffic queue at the Whiteley bank roundabout, 200yards further on – He saved absolutely ZERO seconds, and nearly killed me into the bargain.

Stronger penalties
Perhaps, instead of offering a jolly little road safety awareness seminar for such driving offences, if an automatic six month ban was standard, perhaps we might pay a little more attention to the highway code and drive more safely.

Image: westmidlandspolice under CC BY 2.0

Monday, 11th May, 2015 11:19am


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9 Comments on "Letter: Stronger penalties needed for reckless driving"

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There does seem to be a spate of ignorant driving here at the moment, whether it is just Island drivers or nation wide I couldn’t say but I too have been forced off the road on two occasions in the last three weeks, and I was in my car not on a cycle. The issues I witness are when oncoming cars have to overtake parked cars, it… Read more »
Agree with Davimel about not giving way when cars are parked and just driving on the other side irrespective of oncoming traffic. This is why I have a camera on-board because the standard of Island driving is abysmal. Some drive down country lanes around bends as though they were on a racetrack. They have no idea what is around the corner – horses,cyclists, pedestrians. You see the… Read more »
I find that it is usually visitors to the Island who demand their right of way- it happened to me today in Steyne Rd, a notorious spot where parked cars makes one drive on the offside of the road. Prat did not have an Island number plate nor responded to the usual “Thank you” wave (this time made ironically),- Maybe I should have signalled my thanks with… Read more »
Alan Limb
I agree with David’s comments but I also wonder what penalties are needed for reckless cycling on the Island. For example, during the recent Randonee event, the road between Chale and Niton was shrouded in mist for most of the day. Numerous cyclists taking part in the event were not equipped for this weather. They didn’t have lights on their bikes and weren’t wearing high viz or… Read more »
I do not believe it
I recall that Hampshire and IW Constabulary closed down the island’s Road Policing Unit a few months ago. That is, perhaps, why driving standards have noticeably deteriorated of late. I and three other cars were overtaken yesterday by a youth on a sit-up-and beg type motorcycle on the way to Cowes. He was wearing inappropriate clothing, speeding and on the wrong side of the road. His machine’s… Read more »
Bob Spendley
I was driving in my VW transporter approaching a blind bend down hill and I noticed some cyclist coming up the hill, so I slowed as I went around the bend a lady in a convertable was overtaking the cyclist’s on the bend I stopped suddenly if I hadn’t I am sure she would have ploughed into them rather than hit me. You should know when to… Read more »
I am a newcomer to your Island, about a year now, but having driven all over the mainland and the continent, I have never seen such appalling incidences of reckless drivers in my life! I use the Whippingham and Fairlee roads in my journey to work from East Cowes and the dangerous driving by motorcyclists is unbelievable. They overtake on a bend, uphill, where roads narrow due… Read more »

I find most peoples indicators are attached to their steering wheel and they only come on during the manoeuvre. It was a while back but for my test it was always mirror, signal and then manoeuvre. Just an observation.

Don Smith

Ban drink altogether for drivers.

Anyone found guilty of drink driving – A five year ban and the confiscation of their car/vehicle. Time to get tough and stop the pussy-footing about.