Wednesday, February 11, 2015

You mean you've never driven down the wrong side of the road?

Let me explain. Traffic on the main road was very slow and delayed by road works so, in my wisdom and impatience, I decided to go via the back streets. First mistake. I should have remembered: I've tried that before and if a road isn't a dead end it's one way and not the way you want to go. So my journey was extremely convoluted and took much longer than had I waited in the traffic jam. But I was moving - which is always a plus I think. 

Anyway as you've probably guessed I was a little confused now but I carried on in vaguely the right direction or occasionally the opposite. I think I may have been driving down a one way street (the right way) when I came to a right-hand turn. My destination was approximately right so I paused to first check that it wasn't one way (or if it were that it were the right way). There were cars parked on both sides of the road and facing both directions. From this I concluded that it wasn't one way. Here for your edification is a little picture.
And this is where I went wrong. Now I understand why it's illegal to park the wrong way on a road: it's confusing for other drivers. Naturally pulling around the corner I drove on the side of the road indicated by the direction of the parked car. A perfectly reasonable mistake I'm sure you'll agree.

It wasn't until I reached another junction where a car waited to pull out and the driver looked at me in bemusement that I cottoned on. 

I would normally by now be convinced that I am suffering from old-age-itis but I've had this blind spot about sides of the road for more years than I care to recall. 

Don't worry: it isn't usually a problem for me so you don't have to stay off the roads when I'm about. it's only when I'm lost/confused/in a one way system that I'm best avoided.

P.S. It's like a computer keyboard. Usually I know instinctively which button to press to capitalise but I just stopped and thought and ended up with an italicised letter instead.
P.P.S. Please tell me I'm not alone in this.


Leslie: said...

LOL Oh Liz, you are NOT alone in this! I have done exactly the same thing - tried to avoid a traffic jam and ended up spending more time on the road than I would have, had I waited. AND got lost in the process!

nick said...

I had no idea it was illegal to park the wrong way on a road. Drivers here do it all the time. I also didn't know it was illegal to park within 32 feet of a road junction, until I got a parking fine one day.

You'll be relieved to know I've driven down one-way streets the wrong way quite a number of times. Also that I often hit the wrong key on my keyboard, especially the CAPS LOCK.

Liz Hinds said...

But we get to see a bit more of the countryside/town, leslie!

Oh, Nick, caps lock! Nightmare. I might have made it up about parking the wrong way on a road but let's check!
From the Highway code:
239. If you have to stop on the roadside:
do not park facing against the traffic flow;
248. You MUST NOT park on a road at night facing against the direction of the traffic flow unless in a recognised parking space. Laws CUR reg 101 & RVLR reg 24

So it's not clear but the capital letters suggest it may be illegal at night and not recommended during the day.

nick said...

Having not read the Highway Code for many years, I'd forgotten (if I ever knew) that the words "must not" denote something illegal. So parking against the traffic flow in daytime is legal but frowned upon....

As for parking half on the pavement, I see the HC says "You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it." Well, it's absolutely normal in Northern Ireland to park half on the pavement, whether it's permitted or not. We're total mavericks in that respect....

Jay, Sparking Synapse said...

Hahahah! You're not alone in this.

OH and I often have conversations where one will ask 'how do you spell 'x' because the spell-checker doesn't recognise it and now I'm confused' and the other will answer and we'll think about it, and the more we think the more wrong the word seems - even quite a simple word!

One way streets with cars parked facing both ways, that's just WRONG!

Katney said...

Your keyboard lets you do italics?????

Liz Hinds said...

The same here, Nick, with cars parked on pavements. Drives me mad when I'm pushing a pushchair especially and have to walk on the road.

Husband is usually good at working out what word I'm looking for, Jay, but not so hot at spelling.

Apparently yes, Katney. But don't ask me to do it again!

Rose said...

Yes, I've driven on the wrong side of a one-way street, too--usually very quickly, hoping to get off it before someone sees me or I have an accident! And I've often gotten lost, especially when driving somewhere with my best friend. She is supposed to be the navigator, but we're often so busy talking that she forgets to tell me when to turn. We call these mistakes "taking the scenic route":)