Life’s Little Irritants No. 3

Even though it’s a long time since I passed my driving test, I try to keep in touch with changes to the Highway Code, but the rule that fog lights are compulsory once the clocks go back has passed me by.

At least that’s what you’d assume by the numbers drivers who do it. On a relatively short drive tonight, I counted seven cars with their fog lights blazing, and this in perfectly clear conditions. One even opted for no headlights at all, just sidelights and fogs.

Why? It doesn’t help you see any better, nor does it let other people see you better. Well apart from people like me whose tits you get upon. Didn’t you read Rule 201, or were you in remedial class?

There seems to be no pattern as to what sort of driver believes that if they have some extra switches on the dashboard then they’re there to be used. Certainly not all boy racers in their Fiat Puntos — there are 4x4s, family cars, people carriers, sporties, even Smart cars for goodness sake. How ironic is that?

The clue is in the name — F-O-G — lights. You can’t miss it. White misty stuff that that makes it hard to see where you’re going. That’s why we have fog lights. And until you do, please, please resist the itch to flick the switch.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Mosher 24th November 2004

    As a separate but related comment, I'd like to know who operates the "matrix" signs. They fall into several categories:

    Stating the bleeding obvious – "FOG". Yes. I know. I can see it.

    Taunting – "40". I'm in a queue of traffic. I've not moved for 30 minutes. I *want* to do 40. 40 would be paradise. But please tel that to the 185,256 cars in front of me who don't seem to want to move.

    Just plain wrong – "M1 closed J35 to J32". No. It wasn't. It was open and had been all day. Instead you directed people on a 50 mile detour down the A1. Why?

    OK, this is going on my blog. But, invidentally, I agree. overuse of fog lights is evil, especially on 4x4s where the damn thing is at eye height. Where possible, I sit behind them with my headlights on full beam, or flash my fog lamp at them once I'm past.

    Reply
  • Blognor Regis 24th November 2004

    I too have noticed the trend for only fog and side lights. One bloke even had the nerve to honk at me for cutting him up. Had he had his lights on properly so I would have seen him coming it wouldn't have happend. And, like you say, he wasn't a boy racer either.

    Reply
  • hadge 24th November 2004

    I think they just don't bother to check which switch they've thrown – it irritates me the way so many drive on full beam since they can't be bothered to flick the switch as a car approaches – I'm old enough to remember the tv ad with the catch phrase "Dip Don't Dazzle!" Something I can often be heard shouting from my car as I drive home in the dark! BTW I lived quite near to Clayton vale as a lad on Stuart Street, near Philips Park and my girlfriend (now my wife) lived ever nearer on Tartan Street – small world. . .

    Reply
  • Shooting Parrots 24th November 2004

    The problem with my car is that you use the same control to flash your headlights as you do to switch to full beam. If you've flashed too hard as it were, next time you swith the lights on you can be blinding people without realising until you see the blue warning light on the dash.

    I'm afraid I'm also old enough to remember 'Dip, don't dazzle' not to mention 'Coughs and sneezea spread diseases — catch you germs in a handkerchief.' Nice.

    Also vivid memories of Clayton Vale. One visit ended up in casualty at Tameside General after young Master P dislocated his elbow!

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