A pos­si­ble end to road rage?

Bray People - - News -

THERE’S noth­ing like two war­ring mo­torists to bring traf­fic to a standtill.

Last week­end the bridge in town pro­vided the bat­tle­field as one passer-through fool­ishly de­cided to start toot­ing his horn. Why fool­ish? Be­cause he picked on a lo­cal farmer who was built like a moun­tain and was driv­ing a jeep.

With a screech of brakes and a yank of the hand­brake, the farmer charged from his mon­ster ma­chine and be­gan pound­ing on the ir­rever­ant driver’s win­dow. He let him know in no un­cer­tain terms whose turf he was on and that he’d ‘been driv­ing th­ese roads for years’. Whether he was right or not was never up for dis­cus­sion.

The driver vis­i­bly shrank back into his seat and kept his win­dow up un­til his ag­gres­sor had made off. Sim­ply two more vic­tims of road rage.

Prior to ‘Boom­time Ire­land’ road rage was not that com­mon in this coun­try. Out­side Dublin it scarcely ex­isted at all, with the ru­ral Ir­ish be­ing too aware of their sur­round­ings and the risk of be­ing known to ever dream of ‘blow­ing’ some­body off the road. But with the cash came the change.

Sud­denly peo­ple could choose their motors from the top-of-the-range cat­a­logues and with their pseudo-pro­mo­tion to the up­per ech­e­lons of so­ci­ety, came pre­tence.

The leg­endary rages on the streets of our Euro­pean city coun­ter­parts, the Ital­ians in par­tic­u­lar, in­spired the ‘suits’ in the cap­i­tal and their im­pa­tience and con­tempt for the ‘lit­tle man’ would soon trickle their ways onto the coun­try roads. Meek mo­torists were given an ul­ti­ma­tum: get in the hard shoul­der love or you’re gonna be put there in­stead. But is all this about to change?

With the eco­nomic crash, sales of new cars are down a re­ported 80 per cent in some ar­eas and me­chan­ics feel like it’s Christ­mas everyday as busi­ness soars.

See­ing as dis­pos­able in­come has gone the way of the di­nosaur, peo­ple are hang­ing onto their bangers and the glam­our gen­er­a­tion that has graced our con­crete cat­walks will soon take its place in the mem­ory, and the imagination. So it all bodes well for the eradication of road tantrums. The pace of life is slow­ing down, re­treat­ing back into its shell and peo­ple in dodgy old motors are less likely to be draw­ing at­ten­tion to them­selves by pick­ing un­nec­es­sary fights with their fel­low driv­ers.

You might even trace it back to play­ground pol­i­tics where you put the power hun­gry on a diet and sub­se­quently, the en­gines at the heart of the op­er­a­tion run more smoothly.

BOOKIE’S BIG GAM­BLE

THE news that book­mak­ers William Hill are to close 14 of their 51 out­lets na­tion­wide is sur­pris­ing and proof that even the gam­blers out there are cradling their cop­pers.

How­ever, you have to be tick­led by the date that they have cho­sen to be­gin their cull, March 23. A few short days af­ter Chel­tenham and what seems to be one last hur­rah for the turf ac­coun­tants.

Pro­vid­ing the favourites don’t romp home all week that is...

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