Thursday, 10 April 2008

Try and avoid the tram

I have this thing about following the tram tracks into town.

Which tram tracks?

Well, given that Sydney only has one set of tram tracks at present, it should be pretty easy to figure out the ones I am talking about.

Given the shortage of trams in Sydney compared to say, Melbourne, you can understand the state of utter confusion that some drivers are reduced to when they suddenly find themselves confronted by a small train coming down the street at them. If you drive around all day and see cars, buses, trucks, motorbikes and endless traffic jams, it is quite normal to be reduced to incoherent shock by the sight of something that is not running on 2, 4, 6 or 18 rubber wheels.

At least that is my theory for why some drivers are complete fucking idiots when placed in the vicinity of these tram tracks.

The best thing about following a tram is that it clears a path for you. Pesky pedestrians (at least those that want to keep their arms and legs attached to their body) get out of the way. Cars tend to stop. Even buses and taxis don't dare mess with a tram, so I tuck in behind them (not too close - I don't want to eat the back of one when an errant taxi swerves in front of one and causes the brakes to go on hard) and breeze across town from west to east, or east to west if I am on the way home.

Some people just don't get this whole concept of "stay out of the way of the trams".

There I am, cruising into town a few days ago (in the pissing rain) and I can see that I have a clear run across a set of lights because a tram is coming the other way. That means the lights to the left and right of the intersection will be red, and cars will be no go-ey. Cars no-go. Cars stay put. Cars do not pass go and collect $200.

So I am happy and content and soaking wet and about to go through the intersection when this tool comes through the intersection from my left - and heads straight for the side of the tram! Now a tram is a big thing - it is perhaps taller than a bus, and longer than a semi trailer, so you'd expect most people to be able to see them from some distance. But not this cretin. He kept on heading towards it until (duh) he suddenly noticed it at the last moment and swerved...

...right at me. He must have scraped the paint on the tram - he got that close. The driver of the tram was looking back at the car, scratching his head and wondering how the fuck the car avoided bashing into the side of his big, hard to miss vehicle. Except that the car was now heading down the tram tracks (bad place to be) and coming straight for me (even worse place to be).

Idiot finally worked out that he was in a complete mess, so he did a right hand down, bounced across the footpath and was back on the road in no time. In the meantime, I cleaned out my pants and continued on to work. The driver seemed completely unconcerned - like running red lights and narrowly avoiding trams and cyclists was something that he did on a daily basis.

Probably a courier on his day off.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You need to take a leaf out of the Baghdad Boys Biking Book which gives the following words of wisdom.

To ensure maximum distance from ex camel drivers who have recently graduated to driving a car wear the universal sign of KEEP YOUR DISTANCE iestrap a suicide bomb to your naked torso. It works for all but US army personal sitting behind a 50 cal. Trevor