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Don’t honk in a rage

By Lucie Robson
While I don’t condone violence, I can just about understand the sentiment of the drivers who recently put the handbrake on, got out of their car, attacked the driver behind them who had honked when they failed to get moving at some Paphos traffic lights when the lights turned green…then scrammed.

The victim told police he had merely beeped when the car didn’t move. All I know is that I have had countless experiences of being the first driver at a set of traffic lights who is barraged by honking by the driver behind the instant I am permitted to shift.

If you put your handbrake on at red traffic lights, when you manouver and change gear once amber appears you’re still only able to move sluggishly at first. Even if you idle along with your foot on the brake, you still take a few seconds to get moving.

Any driver knows this is how a vehicle ticks. So what makes people waiting behind you at lights so impatient? Honking at someone who is ahead of you is downright pushy and while I’d never get out of a car and get violent with a honker (hilarious thought anyway as I’m too little to intimidate anyone), I have been known to let loose a stream of foul language at them under my breath.

Being honked at while moving at lights is the supermarket equivalent of the person behind you in the queue giving you a good shove because you’re taking too long for their liking to bag your groceries. It’s like someone batting you out of the way on the pavement because you’re ambling along while they’re in a rush.

It’s rude and aggressive and it’s no wonder it irks the average person.

Honking inappropriately at a fellow driver is a form of road rage, that phenomenon that has been on the rise the world over for years. It seems that these days everybody is under stress, everybody is in a hurry and it doesn’t take much to tip someone over the edge to engage in offensive behaviour behind the wheel.

There are numerous theories about what makes someone succumb to road rage, one of the prime ones being a feeling of anonymity and immunity once a driver gets inside their vehicle.

Isn’t it about time that mastering how to control potential road rage was incorporated into driving lessons alongside learning how to reverse around a corner and execute parallel parking successfully?

Shouldn’t the place to learn etiquette which ultimately betters road safety be when you have your L plates on?

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One comment

  1. The driving standard in Cyprus is very poor especially when turning. Cars are built with indicators and yet the locals fail to use them. You know who is driving the car infront by the way they stop at traffic lights riding the clutch not using the hand brake. Sometimes the locals only learn if you make it quite clear they have failed to operate their car correctly, as taught in England, hence the use of the horn.

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