Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sorry Mate You Didn't See Me

Riding home last night I encountered a Ford Transit driving with no mirrors. Both mirrors had been entirely removed from their casings, leaving the driver with a massive 180-degree blind spot. It seems a fairly safe bet that both mirrors didn't get damaged at the same time, meaning that the driver had likely been driving with impaired rear visibility for some time. Sorry mate, I reported you to the police.

This isn't the first time I've seen commercial vehicles with missing or broken mirrors. Driving with missing mirrors is as dangerous as driving with defective eyesight, as it means you can't see properly, and everyday manoeuvres like reversing, changing lanes or turning become fraught with danger.

Another worrying trend is the current fashion among the chavs for 'privacy glass'. The law it seems allows the rear window and rear side windows of a car to be tinted to the point of total obscurity. Given that most drivers rely on their interior rear-view mirror, this is a bizarre loophole, but it's quite common for the front side windows to be very dark-tinted as well, which is illegal. But that is no deterrent because there's more chance of Jordan becoming a nun than these drivers being prosecuted.

For vehicles that can be seen with a cursory glance to be illegal  to be able to drive around with impunity, it's pretty clear that something is wrong with road traffic law enforcement. The police are obviously too busy ticketing cyclists. Is it too much to ask that a special unit be set up to police traffic offences, financed by the income from fines? That would not cost law-abiding taxpayers a penny - indeed we could have lower taxes because we wouldn't be spending so much paying for the consequences of accidents caused by dangerous and illegal driving. If I had £60 for every offence I've seen this month, I'd be eating caviar for lunch every day.


  1. I saw something on the local news here a while back, where the police were stopping drivers for whatever reason. The bit that stands out in my memory is the bloke who got done for having excessively dark tint on his front side windows, so it can happen if the police have the time/money/motivation or whatever.

    He was moaning to the TV news crew about taking the police to court because his car had passed its last few MoT with the windows like that, so in his mind he was doing nothing wrong. I had to laugh at the ignorant idiot, as window tint isn't an MoT testable item, it comes under the construction and use regulations, and he was plainly in the wrong.

  2. Anecdotally, I heard that the fashion for dark tinted side windows has a lot to do with hand held mobile use (harder to see, and thus to "get done" for).

    In my own experience, the chance of being stopped for using a hand held mobile is vanishingly small in any case, but there you go.

    At least we're out of the "tiny patch of clear windscreen & the rest covered in ice" season now.