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Back from Blighty... - Mark (Brazil)
Some things wot I noticed.....

There aren't many police on the roads. It seems like if a camera doesn't get you, then you won't be got.

In fact, even in central London there didn't seem to be many police.

What on earth is the logic of a bus lane on the M4 ? I was sat in a jam for 45 minutes and two buses and four taxis passed me, hardly good use of road space. Especially with the quite amazing merging system at the end of it.

Motorways haven't slowed down much, if at all, as far as I could see. The fast lane still sems to be stomping along around 90mph in rush hour (bus lanes and cameras notwithstanding).

Two houses within half a mile of each other is reasonable justification for a 30mph limit.

Endless country roads with 40 limits and I have no idea why.

Sunday drivers have got worse - probably a million times worse - and drive at 30mph everywhere.

There was a survey published saying 50% of all drivers want more speeding cameras.

Beer is still good
Pubs are still good
Kebabs are great

Re: Back from Blighty... - Roger Jones
Ten out of ten, Mark. None of it makes sense to us residents either. I would just suggest oh-so-gently that the justification for creeping 30mph limits is not exactly reasonable.
Re: Back from Blighty... - Phil P

I agree with everything except the bit about kebabs.

Re: Back from Blighty... - Mark (Brazil)
> I agree with everything except the bit about kebabs.


Shredded cabbage, naff meat, mouth destroying chile sauce - can life get any better ?
Re: Back from Blighty... - Brian
I came back on the M4 and top half of the M25 on Thursday afternoon.
Apart from the usual idiots driving in falling rain and spray in grey cars with no lights (invisible at anything over 50 yards), the traffic was appalling and it took for ever.
Conclusion: our road system is a total joke and a national disgrace. I was alongside a German camper van for quite a way, stop-start, and I felt ashamed to be British.
Re: Back from Blighty... - Mark (Brazil)

> Conclusion: our road system is a total joke and a national
> disgrace. I was alongside a German camper van for quite a
> way, stop-start, and I felt ashamed to be British.

I am no longer an expert on European driving & roads, but I am very current on North America (US) & Latin America.

Some things to remember..

Whether you believe it or not, UK police are polite, respectful, honest and efficient and vastly superior by any comparison to all of their South American cousins with the possible exception of Chile. And even then Chile is no better than equal.

In the UK they are generally more polite and respectful than in the US and considerably more realistic about life.

For the most part you have to do something wrong in the UK to be hassled, in South America being there is enough.

Laws in the Uk are BY AND LARGE, sensible. Not so in the US or South America.

e.g. In the Bay Area (San Fran) if you receive a speeding conviction there is an insurance increase BY LAW, unless you attend driver's school. This is considerably more expensive than a speeding fine in the UK.

In the UK you have someone to go to if you feel you are mistreated by the Police. Perhaps not the best system, but in the Americas you have more or less nothing.

You have NO idea what a bad road surface or road system is. And don't make the mistake of thinking South America is jungle and native. It is not. Santiago is one of the most advanced cities in the world, Sao Paulo has upwards of 5,000,000 cars and Buenas Aires is also very busy. Not to mention Mexico City, Lima, Salvador, Caracas and others all of which are more advanced than you are likely to think.

To driver to the beach from Sao Paulo takes 2 hours without traffic. It can take up to 10 hours with traffic.

A bad driver in the UK stands out, in South America the good ones stand out.

Lane discipline can be a pain in the UK, in the US it is a joke. And an extremely frustrating one at that. In South America it is downright dangerous.

I can remember the frustrations of living in the UK and to some extent it has deteriorated over the last years. It remains, however, a largely civilised, polite, respectful, safe, honest and high quality environment.

In addition, if you saw it last week, as I did, for the first time in a long time, in all its sunny weather, gardens and cheerfulness, it is still one of the world's best places to live. (And I drove in excess of 1000 miles all over (London, Coventry and Exeter)

British, proud of it, occasionally embarrased and living abroad.

Re: Back from Blighty... - crazed idiot
u r not the only one who has lived abroad... everywhere has its pros and cons... but there is a genuine problem with UK police and minor speeding enforcement - they have got it SO badly wrong...

reinforced by the propoganda machine, they hear it so much they believe it is balanced policing...
Re: Back from Blighty... - Mark (Brazil)
> but there is a genuine problem with UK
> police and minor speeding enforcement - they have got it SO
> badly wrong...

True, but in the scheme of things its not that bad. Better than having to bribe them, avoid them, avoid their guns or boots, etc. etc.

As for whether or not I believe I am the only one who lived abroad, well of course not. But I was speaking for me, not others. Not that I understand the relevance of whether I am the only one or not.

My point was, that it was a pleasant surprise last week (for me, not you, and I wasn't the only one who had a pleasant surprise, I am sure).
Re: Back from Blighty... - Jonathan (on Holiday)
I didn't think that BA was too bad. The only thing I noticed when I was driving there, was that they are all in a mad rush to get in front of everyone else. If they treated their jobs like the drive, they would be the most advanced continent in the world.

Re: Back from Blighty... - Mark (Brazil)
> I didn't think that BA was too bad

You must be joking. Did you ever wonder why they bother painting lines in the road to mark lanes ? I'm damn sure that no drivers there actually know. Mind you, no complaints about the scenery.
Re: Back from Blighty... - Mark (Brazil)

Remember my licence queries ?

Rental Car companies use a hire form. On the back its says "that no drivers are disqalified from driving in ANY country" It also says that ALL traffic offences must be disclosed from any country. It won't matter unless you have an injury accident, then they'll check.

You have to have a valid UK address on your UK licence although this can be a correspondance address - i.e. parents or friends.

You have to use your most applicable licence. I guess this means UK first, Euro second and other licences third.

i.e. in the UK, my UK Driving Licence takes precedence because I've got one. I can drive using a foreign one, but endorsements, convictions etc. would all go to my UK licence, whether or not I produced it.

Serious offences can be flagged to Immigration.

Foreign licences can be affected, the only decision point is whether the offence is serious enough for them to bother or not.

Re: Back from Blighty... - Dai Watchalowski
Mark, as always a balanced one who was in some pretty undesirable overseas locations in the 70s and 80s (courtesy of HMG) including the US in 77 (not undesirable but it was their 200th anniversary of one of the few wars the British lost)..,.travel does broaden your mind and makes you appreciate the values of your home country. I only defend the Police from ill-informed criticism.....In the hundreds of dealings I've had with the Police at various levels, I have found them to be good, bad and indifferent in equal measure, perhaps a fair reflection of the general public, someone once did say that soceity gets the Policing it deserves, perhaps we are now reaping what was sowed in the 80s by Bodecia the 2nd. Crazed Idiot:- Go out out and buy Mozarts Requiem listen to it and read the words - perhaps you will realise that there is still beauty in the world and that some of us live in private hells of our own making and choice.
Re: Back from Blighty... - Brian
Crazed Idiot
The problem in the UK is not the police, but the lack of them.
Thousands of genuine instances of careless, dangerous and plain homicidal driving every day go unchallenged because there are so few police on the roads, to say nothing of faulty lights, bald tires, bad eyesight, driving with drugs (prescription and illegal) etc., whilst hundreds of thousands of drivers get fined and points every year for technical infringes of inappropriate speed limits as determined by poorly sited cameras.
I would feel safer on the roads with a lot more police and fewer cameras, but police are not self-financing, are they.
kebabs - afm

"Shredded cabbage, naff meat, mouth destroying chile sauce - can life get any better ?"

I think this confirms Dai's earlier comment, "..some of us live in private hells of our own making and choice"
Re: Back from Blighty... - Andy
That's exactly the point. With the increasing reliance on cameras leading to reduced traffic patrols, if a speed camera doesn't get you, you dont get got. So only the 'speeders' are detected, the rest of the law-breaking drivers go free. You know, the ones with no tax, the ones with stolen goods or drugs on board, the ones in ringed vehicles.
In other words you can get away with any crime on the roads now, as long as you don't go over 30.....

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