by Tia Smith
Us Bermudians, we get a lot of things right in my opinion. Like our music, our unique holidays, our community-based culture. Our fishcakes. In a word, for the most part, we are kinda awesome.
Things we do not get right? Banana flavouring in cocktails, occasionally customer service and painting our houses in gaudy fluorescent colours. There are more on both sides, but the big one? Driving. We are really quite bad at driving. Not all of us mind you, but some of us really need to get our licences revoked. And our hands smacked. Or glasses… could it be that maybe some of us really need to get glasses? Whatever the reason, Bermudians en bloc are notoriously bad at driving. But hey, don’t take my word for it. Just spend one moment on our roads.
OK, let me roll that back a bit. Not ALL Bermudians. It just seems like all of them at times. Not me, though. It goes without saying, I am obviously the best driver on the roads at any given time. No, you don’t have to ask around, trust me, it’s totes true. Narrator: *it isn’t*.
But yeah, I suppose that there are some of us that do notice that the middle line is actually a thing and that “making the nip” shouldn’t need the opposing vehicle to literally stop in the middle of the road.
There may be even some of us that don’t believe that stopping on a roundabout to let traffic out is ever a good idea or even that slamming your brakes to let just about anyone out onto the main road will not be a hazard to the poor unfortunate soul who happens to be behind you (hopefully not tailgating). To that point, there are definitely some of us that believe that driving literally one inch away from the bumper of the guy in front of you will not actually result in them going any faster nor will it give you a better chance of overtaking them the minute you see a hint of a clear stretch (even if that stretch includes a blind corner). Oh, and do not let me get started on the whole overtaking on a blind corner thing. I value my life and I value my no claims discount so that’s never a good idea.
There are even some of us that have the presence of mind to understand that if I have an issue keeping my car on my side of the road already, it’s probably not going to be a great idea to drive at speed down Harbour Road. Understand your and, by extension, your car’s limitations. Probably more your car’s, to be fair. A good driver could make those curves. If you can’t then, and not to be the bearer of bad news or anything, you are not the good driver of that example.
But oh, the pet peeve, the biggest pet peeve. If you in your need to be somewhere ten minutes before you actually left your house (as being late is pretty much in the DNA of Bermudians), is under the impression that inching out into traffic from a side street as a visual hint that your vehicle rights matter more than mine on the main road… rest assured, I will veer around you and give you Cheryl’s patented dirty glare. I saw that glare too many times as her daughter growing up and, believe me, it is not something to be ignored.
I could offer more examples but unfortunately I really do have to get going so that I can double park outside of KFC. It’s takeout night! Now, where did I put my glasses again?