Monday, 23 March 2009

Go ahead and book me. Make my day.

Had a bit of a ride yesterday. Dry and sunny but a cold north wind. So there I was riding into town when out of a side turning comes La Bimbo in the BMW cabriolet, roof down, straight into my path. Thankfully, a BMW GS has just about the best brakes on the road - sensationally powerful servo assisted anti-lock beauties - the business. Eg. Using just two fingers, I can have Mrs Hogday sliding up my back and sitting on my shoulders (even when braking hard on the motorbike). But enough of this disgusting innuendo - So, La Bimba pulls out in front of me. She did really well to manage this because she was only using her left hand while the other one had her mobile phone clamped to her right ear, which is probably why she didn't bother to look my way and why she never witnessed the consummate ease with which I counter-steered to the right whilst simultaneously applying the front brake which BMW very cleverly links to the rear brake, automatically distributing the perfect balanced braking effort of 80% front and 20% back - all from just using the front lever. For a couple of life-saving seconds I was a road God. Had I been on the Harley it would have been a whole different story. Seeing as how `La Bim` missed all this through chatting on her Blingberry, I was a touch miffed because skill like that you don't see very often, so imagine my joy at finding myself next to her in a queue of cars approaching some red traffic lights. Now a BMW GS is a big tall bike. You can actually look down on Range Rover drivers (something I do anyway, bike or no). So there I am next to little Chantelle in her BMW cabriolet and big gypsy-dangly earrings, still chatting to some other airhead. I broke with my own protocols when out on 2 wheels and decided I would interrupt her `deep and meaningful`. So I sat there in the queue and slowly leaned down and gazed into her car, attracting her attention. She put her Dingleberry down and looked up at me with a quizzical expression. "Hello", I said (I wear an open face helmet) "Can you see me alright"? "Yes, why"? "I just wondered what a guy who is 6`3", fourteen stone, wearing a bright yellow jacket and sat on one of the biggest bikes on the road with it's headlight permanently on, has to do to get your attention"? "Eh?" "You pulled out of that side road whilst gassing on your phone, which is illegal, and caused me to perform 2 silent prayers and a bit of stunt riding in order not to join you in the drivers seat, along with my bike that incidentally weighs over 230kgs before I even get on it. You almost killed both of us so I thought it would be nice to get to know each other a bit, before you eventually succeed". No reply. Traffic moves off. We meet up again a few hundred metres down the road. (Notice how I mix my weights and measures between imperial and metric - cos I know some folks who reads this is from Canada and some is from the US. In the UK we can't make our minds up and use both at differing times - this is my old police diversity training kicking in). So there we are again and this time she's back on her bloody Doodleberry thingy. I look down at her and she says, "I'm calling the police to report you". I laughed and said, "Are they on the line now?" With a smug smirk she said, "Yes!" so I shouted, "Officer, I can give evidence that this woman is in a car, 50 yards from Northerntown Police station, with the engine running and is still on her bloody phone after nearly killing me - if you look out the window you can probably see us". She didn't know if she'd been punched, bored or countersunk - oh how I wanted to throw her fucking phone into the hedge, but she beat me to it and chucked it into the passenger footwell before turning bright red. I said, "Thats better. I'm going now but I'll be slow so you can write my number down - I've already got yours". I hadn't of course. I just wondered if a police officer issuing her with a fixed penalty ticket would have had the same effect? PS. Have just retrosp[ectively added an Australian Road Safety card that was being handed out in Sydney during the week leading up to the 2003 Gay Pride Parade. Gotta love the Aussies.


Blue Eyes said...

Thank f*ck you are OK that is the important bit. Now I am all for aggressive enforcement of the mobile phone rule. There is nobody in the country who doesn't know it is a) dangerous and b) illegal. But of course accidents only happen to other people, right?

Stupid people don't take much notice of a police officer giving them a ticket, but they do notice the three points on their licence!

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

What a fantastic blog you have going here Hog Day!!
My Prince is from South London and we still have one daughter in Portsmouth and one in Barry, Wales.
You're a policeman?? How very brave and such a noble job. Sounds as though you really care which is amazing these days.
If you have a moment or two of your life that you'd care to waste, please visit me at my blog and do say hello.
Take good care and.......

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Hogday said...

Blue Eyes: and she had the most dreadful ear-rings too. Worth 2 penalty points apiece.

Reggie Girl: Hey, thanks for dropping by. Love the shades (3 points each plus a £65 fine lol). Used to be police - until a certain hard earned pension came up for grabs - I'm not THAT stoopid!!

powdergirl said...

That's scary! Some people seem to be completely blind to bikes, add a cell phone to that and its crazy, accidents waiting to happen.
Glad you have good brakes.

We mix the imperial and metric here as well, what a mess.

Auntie Jane said...

You had a lucky escape. I hate people who use their mobile phones when driving. I'm glad you are OK.

I disagree with 'Blue Eyes', I think there are a considerable number of people who don't realise it is against the law to use a mobile while driving. Or do they just not care and think they are above the law?

I seldom drive into town and not see at least one person chatting away. They seem to be totally unaware of their surroundings. It's so dangerous.

Hogday said...

PG: Up early???

AJ: Yes, it's a real life-threatener. Yet as a police officer I'd probably have been asked, "Haven't you got anything better to do like catching burglars?" My smartiepants reply would occasionally be, "Well I've never met a burglar who killed anyone but I see an awful lot of motorists who have".

Reggie Girl: Tried to leave you a msg on your blog and mail but got rejected. I know the places you mentioned very well. Plus Mrs HD is big on catering. E mail me for details.

Anonymous said...

HD, You exercised far greater restraint than I could have mustered in the same situation. Over the years I've had numerous close calls with inattentive drivers. Your vigilance paid off.

Ride safe.

Hogday said...

KLR: Next time I'll wear my T Shirt that says,

"If You Haven't Seen a Gun Fired From a Moving Harley, Try Using Your Cellphone Whilst Driving Near Me" ;)

Blue Eyes said...

Or do they just not care and think they are above the law?

This is my working theory. I talk to a lot of people who I see using their phones whilst driving. I have not yet met one who didn't realise it was illegal or dangerous. Everyone *thinks* they can handle it better than anyone else and that *just this once* they will be OK.

Hogday said...

Blue Eyes: Thats about it. Little things mean a lot. I had a hands-free kit once and even that was distracting to a point.

I was never a `traffic zealot` when in the job, but it's a staggering fact that the EU suffers almost the same number of road fatalities as those killed in the `9/11` attacks..... only it happens every month.

Blue Eyes said...

It's all down to circumstances. For example driving at 35 mph down Oxford Street at 2am is illegal but not particularly dangerous. Driving around the West End on a Saturday afternoon while nattering on your phone is inexcusable.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

What a scary situation, but I had to laugh about the "interaction" you had with her later. Stupid little snot! She probably won't even change after this. Some people think rules were clearly meant for others - just not THEM. Ugh.

powdergirl said...

We don't have any cell phone laws as yet, at least not in my area, but I hear we'll be going with hands-free devices only, in the next few years.
My truck is equipped with blue-tooth. I've used it and hate it. I find it even worse as you pretty much just forget that you're driving
Just pull over, important people, and make the call. Or wait till you've got where you're going. If you're that damned important, people will wait.

Hogday said...

I always think Bluetoothers look hilarious. "Look There's Lt. Uhura from the Starship Enterprise".

Vetnurse said...

My Mum gets upset because l refuse to answer the phone when driving. I have avoided mentioning hands free kits as l do not want one and she would go and buy me one.

Glad you survuved and wish l could have seen la bimbettes face over the police phone call :-))

Daisy said...

Glad to hear your ok! I pull over if I have to use my phone when driving, as I can't even walk and chew gum at the same time!