Road Rage

Old Bike Australasia - - BLOW YOUR OWN -

I live in the St Ge­orge area, in Syd­ney. Early one morn­ing, about 2010, I was rid­ing my Honda 350 to work, along Hill­crest Ave, ap­proach­ing Hurstville. I was chuff­ing along at 50-60 km/h, in the free-flow­ing right hand lane. Traf­fic was al­most at a stand­still in the left hand lane. I saw the 4WD in the left lane, bristling with aeri­als, and I saw its front wheels turn right. It ad­vanced a lit­tle from its lane, then stopped. I felt sure that the driver had seen me, caus­ing him to stay where he was. At all but the wrong time, he sud­denly pulled into my lane. All I could do was to get onto the wrong side of the road. I was very for­tu­nate that there was noth­ing com­ing the other way. Hav­ing missed him, I hit the throt­tle, in­tend­ing to round him up and ges­tic­u­late. He must have also hit the throt­tle very hard, as I found my­self un­able to over­take. I was in the middle of the Hill­crest and King Ge­orge’s Rd in­ter­sec­tion, on the wrong side of the road, and head­ing for the now on­com­ing traf­fic. I pulled back into my lane and fol­lowed the mis­cre­ant up the hill. Steam was com­ing out of my ears. I was now at the red light at the top of the hill, right be­hind the mis­cre­ant. More steam. I thought “bug­ger it, I’m go­ing to say some­thing”, so I pulled around him and parked across his bows. He blew the horn. I slowly got off the bike and fixed him with my best steely gaze. Look­ing right at him, I slowly walked to his driver’s door, as all the other traf­fic got their green light and de­parted. He low­ered his driver’s win­dow. That’s when I saw the po­lice uni­form. None­the­less, I said to him, with plenty of at­ti­tude in my tone…”Sir, next time you go to change lanes, why not have a look…..first ?” He was look­ing right at me, but said noth­ing. Try­ing to main­tain my swag­ger, I slowly walked back to my bike, think­ing “hell, don’t ride this bloody bike for at least a month, they’ll be look­ing for you.” I rode up to the red traf­fic light. He got into the lane be­side me. There we were, side by side, wait­ing. I thought “don’t look at him, let him go first”. He took off like a bat out of hell, driv­ing er­rat­i­cally. Per­haps he wasn’t all that happy.

Nat­u­rally, I’ve re­told this story many times. In time, I told a friend who is in the Force. My friend smiled very broadly. “Phil, you road raged a cop­per and got away with it?” “Yeah” said I, “you might even know him”. “Un­likely, there’s a hel­luva lot of us. Go on, what’s his name?” When I told him, his eyes widened and his jaw dropped. “That’s one of the As­sis­tant Com­mis­sion­ers. Wait, Maybe he has a son who has the same name. You saw his name­plate. Do you re­mem­ber the colour of the plate, and the colour of the writ­ing on the plate?” “Yes. White plate with black writ­ing.” “Whoa, that’s him al­right. Only the Com­mis­sioner and the ACs have those plates. Phil, you didn’t touch his car, did you? And you didn’t see his hands, ei­ther?” “No. What are you talk­ing about?” “Since you ap­proached him, one hand would’ve been hold­ing the gun, and the other the cap­sicum spray. If you’d touched the car, you would’ve seen both, and you were be­ing recorded.” “I bet he deleted that as soon as he could.” As rid­ers, we see far too much dross from other mo­torists. Some of their be­hav­iour is dan­ger­ous. Even so, it’s safer to take a more de­fen­sive and pa­tient stance on the road, mak­ing sure that the red mist does not take over. This in­ci­dent has cer­tainly cured me of road rage, even though I’m very un­likely to ever lock horns on the road with another Po­lice AC. Phil Ward Hurstville NSW

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