Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Road Rage

After finishing work (working from home) this afternoon I took the 10 minute walk down to my local shops to pick up some milk. I was just walking along the main street when I became aware of a disturbance across the road. Voices were being raised.

A white van was parked and just a little way ahead and stopped in the road was a small silver car (a little Fiat or something). The two drivers were shouting threats at each other.  It was difficult to tell what they were saying but I suspect it was a disagreement over a parking place. You see these now and again. I stood and watched from the safety of the other side of the road - as one does.

As the two drivers shouted and threatened each other, two female passengers got out of the silver car and shouted to their protagonist. He looked around and started heading back to his car. At this point one of the women pulled a sledgehammer, yes a SLEDGEHAMMER out of the car and passed it over the roof of the car to the driver. He then returned to the fight flailing the sledgehammer wildly at the other driver.

The other driver was a much younger man but I still think he did a pretty good job of avoiding serious injury. Sledgehammer man was swinging his weapon wildly and white van man was dancing backwards to avoid the blows. After no more than 5-10 seconds of this I think sledgehammer man realised he was unlikely to catch the other guy - if he could have, I think he would have carried on.

Sledgehammer man headed back to his car and he and his passengers got in. The younger guy was not going to leave it there. He reached into his van and pullled out what we generally just describe as "2 by 4" - a piece of timber, about a metre long and typically 2 inches by 4 inches - hence the name. He then ran up to the other car almost reaching sledgehammer man before he'd closed his door. He then made a few threats to hit the car with his piece of 2 by 4. The silver car then left very quickly with a lot of squealing tyres.

Road rage - that's what we call it here. Motorists getting into silly fights over parking places or because somebody pulls in ahead of them at a junction.  You see it periodically and just  gawp at the childishness of supposedly grown men.

What I was shocked at by this incident was the apparent ease with which both drivers were able to produce weapons. The silver car was a little hatchback, not the kind of car that usually contains a sledgehammer as part of its toolkit. This guy obviously drove around ready for incidents like this.

The van driver I guess might have a reason for having timber in his van but the speed at which he seemed to produce this suggested he kept it in a convenient location for circumstances just like this.

Finding one person who can produce a weapon for an incident like this is pretty nasty. Finding two people who are "tooled up" suggests to me that quite a lot of people drive around ready for something like this. Many more than I thought. How depressing.


Nota Bene said...

It's awful to see this sort of situation and how it can so quickly get out of hand...if ever there's an argument for banning guns, this would be it...

Terra Shield said...

Oh my, that's scary. Thing is, although I haven't seen it for myself, road rage is all the rage here as well. My sister told me a story where a truck/small lorry gave chase to a car and kept hitting it at the back when the car driver showed his/her middle finger at the truck driver.

King of Scurf said...

NB: Unless they can prove it's a tool of their trade, there should be a lot more clamping down on anything that could be construed as a weapon.

Terra: Road rage here is usually just two silly men posturing and rarely leads to anything more serious. This was the first time I'd seen people actually produce weapons and look like they would not hesitate to use them.

sabrina said...

Yes road rage is very common here in Malaysia. In fact a woman was shot dead because of it!

But sometimes you can't blame people for behaving so rash....especially when you have utter morons on the road who not only endanger your life, but the lives of the people you love. I know i would go ballistic if my mum were in the car with me and some moron hit me!

King of Scurf said...

Saby: Lovely to see you again.

I would probably be unable to account for my actions if someone deliberately endangered my mum. The point is these guys were arguing about parking - and most incidents of road rage we see here are about trivial things.

If someone cuts across me at a junction I let them go - life's too short to get angry over stuff like this. You never know what sort of a nutcase is in the other car. Their comeuppance will come one day.

Rob said...

I agree with Nota Bene: it could all have been much worse if they'd pulled guns on each other.

King of Scurf said...

Rob: Hopefully we'll never get the UK branch of the NRA lobbying government here.