Rewarding courteous driving - edisdead {P}
I think in general we backroomers consider ourselves to be considerate and safe motorists, apart from our own admitted failings (due to being members of the human race? ;-). Discussed at length elsewhere.

I think we also agree that the average standard of driving on Britain's roads is somewhat below what is generally accepted as considerate and safe. Also discussed elsewhere.

So what can be done to improve matters?

I am not a perfect driver, far from it. However, In recent times I believe I have developed a far greater awareness of other road users and empathy for them. I think this can be attributed to two factors. First, since January this year I have been doing a daily motorway commute of 50 miles each way. Second, I have come to realise that courtesy breeds courtesy on the road.

If you give way to someone on the motorway during an overtaking manoeuvre, let someone out of a junction, slow down to 20mph outside a school, give way to a bus pulling out, more often than not you will receive a cursory wave. Consider the nice warm glow you experience from realising you have done someone a favour/made the road safer. Now consider the grief you experience when you receive obscenities/hand gestures for (unintentionally) driving in a dis-courteous manner, eg. forgot to indicate, barging your way in when 3 lanes merge to two, etc etc.

I accept that giving way to others is not always safe, and there are scenarios where it would be outright dangerous. However, on the appropriate occasions, be courteous, and 'reward' courtesy with a friendly wave, nod, smile, R-L-R-indicate or whatever.

My theory is this: If a small number of road users can encourage others to drive more forgivingly by 'rewarding' safe and considerate driving in this small and simple way, perhaps it is possible that it will catch on, and the road will become a safer and less stressful place for everyone. Or am I living in a dreamworld?

Rewarding courteous driving - Clanger
I agree with your sentiments, but I think you are in a tiny minority among those who wish to drive dangerously and/or selfishly. Good luck with your actions, but don't expect it to catch on.
Stranger in a strange land
Rewarding courteous driving - joe
Statistically, Britain's roads are some of the safest in the world. Sure there is room for improvement, but do not be too ready to believe that bad driving is another of those things that makes people want to emigrate.

Regarding the main point of your thread, and completely co-incidentally, I have a 50 mile commute as well, and have had one for a year now. It is amazing how my driving has improved, in the sense that I just don't have the energy to "get involved" anymore. It is so much less stressful to cruise along at 70, let people out and let people past, and try to get the car to "flow" rather than constantly accelerating and braking.
Rewarding courteous driving - matt35 {P}
Your point
''and try to get the car to "flow" rather than constantly accelerating and braking.''
is one of the first things we work on in the IAM.
If we could get every driver practising the Two Second Rule there would be a reduction in accidents tomorrow.
When the car in front passes any road feature - count two seconds - Mississippi one,Mississippi two...if you pass the feature before the two seconds, you are too close for safety - wet weather, double the space.
Rewarding courteous driving - HF
>>If a small number of road users can encourage others to drive more forgivingly by 'rewarding' safe and considerate driving in this small and simple way, perhaps it is possible that it will catch on

I do think courteous driving has a sort of knock-on effect. For example, if I let someone out, I often find that they then let someone else out at the first opportunity. Similarly, if someone lets me out, I will be in a much better mood and likely to allow somebody else out when I can.
Rewarding courteous driving - edisdead {P}
Joe, agreed, for a zero or trivial increase in journey time it's amazing how much calmer you can be when you get to work/home isn't it. Staying out of lane three and minimising time spent in lane two is so much easier on the nerves, the car, and the wallet. Cruising at 65 is better still. Perhaps I'll buy a flat cap.

Hawkeye, I suspect you are correct that it's a minority view. Maybe it's a little naive of me to suggest that I can start a revolution. HF, i'm glad you sympathise with the knock-on effect theory. Thanks for illustrating exactly the scenario i was trying to get at.
Rewarding courteous driving - Spunky
I recently worked in Essex but lived in Cardiff on weekends and subsequently clocked up many a mile on the M4 and M25. This grately improved my motorway driving but also brought to my attention other road users attitudes. During the week the motorways (M4 particularly) were full of reps and commuters in their Vauxhall Vectras - however they were fair more curteous and safer than on weekends when drivers, not used to miles of motorway, took to the roads.

These weekend drivers would fit into 2 groups. firstly there were the nervous ones who barely touch 60 and sit in the middle lane all the way and are too scared to overtake lorries. Then there were the opposite people, who think they are the only ones going on holiday that weekend and so they rule the road and it is your fault if they cut you up/fail to let you out/ sit on your bumper.....

I feel many people just don't know how to behave on a motorway (or round the town for that matter).

Rewarding courteous driving - HisHonour {P}
Some years ago I was stopped by the Spanish Traffic police, somewhat to my consternation. They demanded that we follow them into Barcelona to the police station. There we were greeted by the Chief of Police and a delegation to be told we had been singled out because of our safe and courteous driving. We were given a certificate and a civic lunch with enough wine to ensure that we had to stay the night in Barcelona to be able to continue to drive safely the following morning.

I did wonder whether this was a way of boosting the tourism income as our night's stay probably cost four times the cost of the lunch and the certificate!
Rewarding courteous driving - Flat in Fifth
So what would one do, if in the "exalted" position of Transport Minister, to increase courteous driving and improve standards?

Some sort of incentive to increase the number of people asking to improve their own driving, instead of thinking they are perfect and that everyone else is a wassock?

For IAM/Rospa Silver and above:
or No Insurance tax?
or 2p off income tax?
or extra on the old age pension?

Must be some better ideas.

Stick isn't working so lets get the carrots out.

Rewarding courteous driving - Obsolete
FiF: There's a bit of wisdom in what you say. The gov. get people to drive more efficient cars by changing the company car taxation system. So why not incentivise people to improve driving skills? Zero or reduced car tax for five years in exchange for attending a weekend training course? Increased car tax for someone who has not attended a course in the last five years.

No doubt some sad realist will come along and pop the pipe dream! :)
Rewarding courteous driving - Obsolete
By the way, anyone notice that the so-called safety issue of Top Gear on Beeb 2 didn't once (unless I remember wrong) mention the effect of ones own driving on safety. Plenty of mention of car crash tests though.
Rewarding courteous driving - frostbite
Stick isn't working so lets get the carrots out.

Refund of VAT paid on fuel would be quite easy. (and nice!)
Rewarding courteous driving - edisdead {P}
If a tree falls in a forest and there's no one there to see it, does it make a sound?
Rewarding courteous driving - HF
Ed - yes it does, but if people aren't around to witness the fall, then they won't know/believe it's happened.

That is the way with so many things in life...
Rewarding courteous driving - Nsar
The Germans (I believe) have a convention of signalling in the mirror with the first 3 fingers of the left hand, held horizontally when thay have goofed and cut someone up or not indicated etc. It is supposed to represent an E, short for entschuldigung (sorry).
I've seen a few drivers over here take this even further indicating they are Very sorry.
Rewarding courteous driving - Cliff Pope
Approaching a pedestrian crossing once with the window open, I heard someone say "Oh, Volvos never stop". Since then, I get a glow whenever I let anyone in, car or pedestrian.
Rewarding courteous driving - Flat in Fifth
>> Stick isn't working so lets get the carrots out.
Refund of VAT paid on fuel would be quite easy. (and

Correct! Unfortunately just realised a flaw in the overall concept.

In order to ensure that no-one got more than 1p over their entitlement, preferably making it so complicated that no-one really managed to claim anything the oik in No.11 would set up a vast departemnt of civil servants with a budget of
£4 million per year just for the custard creams!

Thinking caps on again.
Rewarding courteous driving - Dwight Van Driver
Think laterally FiF.

Those that drive courteously get to keep their motors.
Those that don't have them confiscated and crushed.

I say this after reading in todays local paper. 33 y.o. female
recorded doing 117 mph on her Motor cycle. Also did not have any Insurance, a Licence (Excise?) or Test Certificate.

Fined £250 3 months ban.

19 yr old male on motor cycle ran down a dog which had to be put down. Done for due care, failing to stop/report accident,drive without valid Licence, Insurance, Helmet and Registration Mark.

Fine £200 and 6 points.

.... and there is more....

What inducement could there be for these to drive courteously indeed?

They still birch people in Singapore.

Rewarding courteous driving - matt35 {P}
Wish Maggie Thatcher was 55 again!
Rewarding courteous driving - HF
>>What inducement could there be for these to drive courteously indeed?

These 'punishments' are an absolute joke and make me mad. An inducement for more and more people not to bother buying tax, insurance, MOT or anything else, more like.

Rewarding courteous driving - Flat in Fifth
Think laterally FiF.

Yeah! laterally = sideways does it not?

I *like* sideways!
Rewarding courteous driving - Ricky13
This year on a driving holiday in Europe, I was near Arnhem in Holland, when a guy half pulled out in front of me without looking causing me to slam my brakes on hard to avoid hitting him.Rick

As were both stopped, I was prepared for the British ritual of rude and abusive gestures - but instead he raised his finger to his head, cocked his thumb and pretended to shoot himself in the head for being such an idiot - what a refreshing way of admitting fault rather than blaming the other.

My point is that anyone can make a mistake, recognising this and admitting responsibility can defuse a situation that can often lead to more serious incidents.

Ask Honest John

Value my car