I was quietly sitting on my sofa at approximately 11.15pm last night idly surfing the interweb when the screech of a skidding car diverted my attention. I waited (in fear or expectation, depending on your point of view) for the skid to end in a crash. It did: a solid crunch of metal on metal. I dashed out to my balcony to see what had happened. A chunky 4WD and a small hatchback had collided on the corner of Rose and Young streets. The front of the red 4WD had smashed into the right side of the silver hatchback, pushing the driver’s door in.
Rose and Young streets are both narrow one way streets, which often have losers driving the wrong way up them. It’s amazing that there are not more accidents. Anyway, my initial observation was that at least one car (the hatchback) was going the wrong way (west, instead of east) on Rose St, and the 4WD was probably also going the wrong way (south, not north) on Young St.
The Police arrived first, followed by some taxis, then the Fire Brigade. By the time the Ambulance arrived the street was completely blocked, and it had to turn around and go around the block.
Once the situation had been dealt with, and I had chatted with my neighbours, I went down to ask some questions. I told them that I was a local resident sick of seeing cars driving the wrong way on these streets. The Fire Brigade officer I spoke to told me that it is not the responsbility of the Brigade to determine the cause of accidents, and he referred me to the Police. The Police officer I spoke to would not confirm that either vehicle had been travelling in the wrong direction as she had not completed taking statements from both drivers.
I plan to follow this up as this is an issue that has frustrated me for some time. How can drivers be so selfish and ignorant in such narrow streets? These drivers are a real danger to other road users, particularly cyclists and motorcyclists. There have been several occasions where I have stopped my motorbike in the middle of the street and made a driver coming towards me going the wrong way stop and reverse.
I wonder how the insurance companies deal with claims where both parties were breaking the road rules? Do they both get denied cover? Whoever was going the wrong way deserves no sympathy.