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Insider Report: British road rage
is not like our road rage

Published May 6, 2013

Road Rage, British style
Over the years here in Toronto, we’ve heard of road range incidents that range from hand gestures to threats with golf clubs and even stories of drivers being run off the road. In Russian dash camera videos, we’ve seen road ragers wielding shovels and guns. In Britain, those who don’t want to share the road with others seem to be somewhat more genteel. Perhaps we could all learn something from the two chaps in the video below.

For the record, I think the guy on the bike should have popped the Audi driver in the nose!

Left lane bandits and other rants
Over the weekend, the lovely and talented Mrs. Grant and I took a road trip to Ottawa sans kids for a friend’s birthday. On the drive there and back, we saw so many bad habits that had me pulling my hair out. Most of them are a result of drivers being oblivious to everything going on around them. In some cases this is due to inattentiveness, but a good many drivers are completely self important and don’t care what happens to anyone else.

My absolute biggest peeve during this drive was the use of the left lane for no other reason than to be there. All across Ontario’s fine highway, there are signs that read “slower drivers stay to the right lane” and yet drivers putter along in the left lane. Usually these drivers are hanging out directly in the blind spot of a driver who is in the correct lane. When other drivers finally push their way past, often on the right, these left lane drivers actually look angry as if they have been inconvenienced. I found the image above, from Florida, online and it does a nice job of showing the situation.

Then, there was the BMW driver who decided to change lanes just as I was passing him. No signal, no glance in the mirror, he just cranked the wheel to the left. He very nearly wore the lovely red 2013 Nissan Murano I was driving. Thankfully, I can now report that the Murano’s ABS system works flawlessly.

Don’t even get me started on drivers of speed-limited transport trucks who decide to pull into the left lane and pass other trucks on long uphill sections. These menaces of the highway can hold up traffic for 10 km or more as they trudge past another truck. No wonder I hate driving in Ontario!

Watch a young boy call out a cop for parking on a sidewalk
Sometimes it takes a while for a video to go viral. Just ask 12-year-old Jeremy, who shot a video of a Las Vegas Metro motorcycle cop on Sept. 13, 2012. The young lad approached the officer, who had stopped for a soda, and called him out for parking on the sidewalk. He even asked the officer for his badge number, which the officer refused to give. The smart alec cop then asked “Are you a lawyer?” to which the young lad replied “No, I am 12. My name is Jeremy, what is your badge number?”

The video has been picked up by what seems like half of the Internet in the last day, with calls going out for citizens to identify the arrogant officer. As I’m writing this on Sunday evening, I can’t find reports but I’m betting that it won’t be long before this guy is identified and is suitably reprimanded for embarrassing his police force.

L’Estage & Richard crash out of Oregon Trail Rally
There has been a lot of excitement surrounding the Rockstar Energy team of Canadians Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard this year as they prepared to attack the Rally America championship in a new car. The reigning North American Rally Champions have brought a WRC spec Mitsubishi Lancer over from Europe to campaign in U.S. events. The budget was not there to allow the team to run the car in Canadian events. Unfortunately, the budget took a big hit on Saturday when L’Estage mis-heard a route instruction and the pair had a big off. Canadian videographer Warwick Patterson said it was “one of the biggest crashes I’ve seen in a while,” which is saying something when you consider that Patterson often works with the WRC television crews and sees some pretty spectacular stuff. Most importantly, neither Nat nor Antoine were injured in the incident. The car, on the other hand, is going to need more than a little work.

The Rally America video crews were able to spend some time with the team and get some footage of the car in action before the rally began. This is a pretty cool machine and I hope they can get it back together for the rest of the season.

Photo by Matt Johnston

The Mayor of Hinchtown speaks after winning in Brazil
The realities of life and a weekend away mean that I haven’t seen yesterday’s Indycar race as I write this, so I have nothing to say except that thanks to Facebook, I know that Oakville’s own James Hinchcliffe won what sounds like was an exciting race. If you want all the details, head on over to Norris McDonald’s column and read what the boss has to say about the race. Indycar has already posted the post race interview with the top three finishers, but you only need to hear what the top guy has to say. You can read Norris’s column by clicking here.

That’s it for me, I’m going to watch the race now thanks to my PVR.

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