Out there on the roads, one can vent internal rages - a kind of mobile psychotherapy. Getting from A to B is not simply a tarmacadam journey, for the distance will also be marked by the mileposts of our emotional engagement in the travelling process.
On habitual journeys around this city of Sheffield with its 500,000 souls, I come to particular crossroads, streets or junctions where my mind is on red alert. My mission is to avoid collision at all costs. I look up and down, my pulse rate rising. An idiot in front pulls out causing a startled driver to brake and then a horn blows. I check the mirror and go, always relieved to have made it unscathed.
There's etiquette here on our hilly streets or terraced roads lined with parked cars on both sides. You wave or flash your lights when people wait up for you and the unwritten rule is that drivers coming uphill have priority. Sometimes two cars meet halfway and they are like rutting dinosaurs in an urban stand-off. I have been in that situation several times and my solution is simple - reverse! It may sound cowardly but I can foresee no profit in angry street encounters with enraged drivers you have never met before. For the sake of a minute of your life, it's wisest to just back off. After all, aggressive idiots always meet their Waterloo in the end.
On the roads, I'm a mobile (cell) phone spotter. I see them everywhere - careless drivers talking into phones - they may be turning corners, driving huge cement wagons, waiting at traffic lights or taking kids to school. If my eyes could be transformed into powerful laser beams I'd be zapping twenty of these idiots every day. I fail to see what is the significant difference between driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while on a mobile phone. We should be equally enraged because both behaviours have caused and will cause death.
Another bad habit that appalls me is tailgating on motorways. You know, you're doing seventy five, you pull out into the fast lane to overtake a slower vehicle and a fast car comes surging up behind you, sitting on your tail in an intimidatory fashion until you have pulled back in to the centre. Again my view is it is just not worth trying to make a point - just pull back into the centre, indicating as always and let the ignorant pigman play out his Formula One fantasies.
Most drivers on the roads of northern England are courteous and safety conscious. You don't notice this sensible majority. Taxi drivers are not included. They often fail to indicate, make dangerous U-turns, park up at very inconvenient spots - often double-parking and they try to butt in from side roads. I would never voluntarily let a taxi in to a main road and the same applies to any cars that have personalised number plates - they can just wait - "FU 1" mate!