Eighteen

The car passed two important milestones over the weekend. The first was that it turned 18. Delivered in December 1995 it is still going strong and looking better than ever I reckon. Some may say that it is only now reaching its prime. Well I certainly would.
Given its new found maturity here is what it would vote for if it could:
1. Drivers MUST keep left. Overtaking is fine but once you have done that don’t sit in the right hand lane like a boob. It’s dangerous and it is actually illegal. Don’t believe me? Here you go, from:
http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/usingroads/downloads/top_10_misunderstood_road_rules.pdf
and I quote:
On multi-lane roads with a speed limit of more than 80km/h, motorists must not drive in the right-hand lane unless they are:
•     overtaking
•     turning right or making a U-turn
•     avoiding an obstacle
•     driving in congested traffic
•     driving in a special purpose lane or if there is a Left Lane Must Turn Left sign or a left traffic arrow and the driver is not turning left.

If a Keep Left Unless Overtaking sign is displayed, the requirement
applies regardless of the speed limit.

2. More of the collected road taxes need to be spent actually FIXING the roads! This means not simply slapping some bitumen in the chasms that appear after it rains. It means fixing the roads and more importantly building them correctly in the first place. The surfaces on some of roads should never qualify as being ‘main roads’ at all.
3. Compulsory advanced driver training courses for ALL drivers throughout the lifetime of their road use. What passes for driving ability on the roads today is a joke. It is not until you have taken an advanced driver training course do you realize what a piss poor driver you are. That changes the way you approach driving which is something that benefits all, reduces accidents, makes travel safer and therefore lowers insurance premiums to boot.
4. Cyclists have every right to use the road PROVIDED they:
a. Have compulsory third party insurance like all other vehicles that use the roads.
b. Are ridden by someone who has passed a road skills theory and practical exam like all other vehicles that use the roads.
c. Ride registered vehicles that pass annual safety inspections like all other vehicles that use the road.
d. Are driven by people who take appropriate safety precautions like wearing a helmet as motor cyclists are required to.
e. Are subject to the same road rules as all other vehicles on the road(which typically means actually stopping at red traffic lights).
5. More has to be done to get cars off the roads. They are simply choking with increased volumes of traffic every day. For three days around Christmas this year traffic heading north out of Sydney was at a stand still. How is that possible? I am also constantly amazed at how heavy Sydney traffic is when I occasionally venture out, even in the middle of the weekday. I would also suggest that 90% of the traffic I see in peak hour are vehicles with a single person in it. How inefficient. Better public transport to free up our roads and reduce frustration, road wear and save the environment. I certainly use the train whenever I can. It is far cheaper and much more efficient in a big city.
A good manifesto I reckon.
The other milestone reached this week was reaching the 40,000 kilometres travelled mark. One of things that you soon learn about older cars is that if you lock them away in a garage and never drive them then the changes of them failing is much greater than a car that is used regularly. A car is designed to be driven and the parts are designed to be worked. Not driving a car regularly fails to work many components which generally leads to their premature failure.
Yep, sure, you drive a car and it is going to get dirty, scratched, dented and so on. That is simply part of price on enjoying a car. If you are worried about that happening then you shouldn’t be driving something where that will be a concern. My advice? Downgrade and live without the stress but don;t forget you are forgoing the pleasure which to me is far outweighed by such minor (although at times very irritating) concerns.
So what did reward did the F355 receive for passing two major milestones this week? It got a nice drive in the country followed by a full wash and polish. I would have done more but it was getting to hot unfortunately so I scurried back home to the shade.
Time to start planning the twenty first birthday bash I reckon now.

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