Laughable Irish Speed Limits

I was just on a weekend away down south, and here are a few photos I took:

On this tiny little dirt road, apparently our often overprotective government, think its perfectly ok to do up to 80kph while driving on it. I’m a pretty quick driver but I don’t think I would do 80kph on this road. After this straight it gets pretty twisty and downhill – I drove down it at probaly not more than 30kph or so. Doing much more would be a but silly, and that says a lot coming from me! ;)

However, this photo taken above, on the same day, shows a very wide, smooth, straight, 2 lane dual carriageway – which apparently they think its unsafe to drive more than 60kph – 20kph slower than the one vehicle wide dirt road.

Now yes, they are temporary signs – but regardless – it’s ridiculous – how in the world do they expect us to take them seriously? Where is the sense in this? For a considerable amount of time there were parts of the M50 where they set a speed limit of 60kph – 99% of people completely ignored it and went 100kph or so anyway. Completely defeats the purpose really. Why can’t we have some sense applied to the roads in this country?

Bling Bling Jammers

Chrome seems to be all the rage these days. I remember seeing a car like many of the ones above, and apparently it was actually silver plated. Ridiculous.  Now you can get the same effect for a tiny fraction of the price. Many of these cars are actually  covered ina reflective vinyl substance, like a giant sticker, but it looks amazing and actually lasts too. Only costs 1-2k too!

Another Ferrari Crashed in Sandyford

This is just brilliant… A guy from a car valeting company was bringing this Ferrari back to Des Cullen’s after its wash job. The car was in sport mode, it has a flappy paddle gearbox, and the traction control was turned off. A couple of girls walked by and he decided to show off and revved the engine… But when it hit 4000rpm and the launch control kicked in and sling shot him across the road – head first into a Peugeot 307!!! The worst thing is – its not insured because he wasn’t supposed to take it out of the valeting premises! It was up on carzone to be sold at 110k – HATE THAT!!!!

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Why are taxi’s such bad drivers?

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Taxi men in this country get a pretty bad rap. There is never a shortage of people complaining about them on the various radio stations, or on one of the many message boards in Ireland. Sometimes I think a bad reputation can hang around for an unfair amount of time, and I think they suffer from this because of years past. I vividly remember the countless hours I have spent trawling the streets of Dublin in the small hours of a Friday or Saturday night waiting for a taxi. Back then the numbers were small in comparison to today and getting one was next to impossible unless you walked far out of the city – or you were just lucky.

Thankfully today it is different and there are many more taxi’s on the roads, so it is not so much of a problem. Actually the tides have turned now and it’s the drivers themselves that do the most amount of complaining about not being able to make a decent living.  It’s called a free market and competition lads, deal with it.

Anyway I could go on and reinforce many other people opinions about why they have a bad reputation, but I’m not – I’m just going to talk about the one that pisses me off most: their frankly appalling standard of driving.

Now please let me state that I may be making sweeping statement here, but I am not trying to slander every single driver. There absolutely are some very good drivers out there, but unfortunately they are by far the minority. I do a fair bit of driving on the roads of Dublin in both and car and on a Motorbike, and it really amazes me how when I see some bad driving on the roads, a massively disproportionate amount of time it is a taxi driver.

Honestly I am just amazed at how these people’s actual profession is Driving, yet they seem to be worse than most of the rest of the people on the roads – which really isn’t saying much to begin with. Taxi’s seem to think they have their own set of rules different from everyone else, and make no apologies for it.

What i see most is the following:

  • Even though they have the use of the bus lanes, which lets face it is more of a taxi lane than a bus lane, the majority choose to drive along straddling both lanes, so traffic in the inside lane cannot get past. GGGGRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!
  • They think hazard lights are ‘stop anywhere lights’ and think nothing of blocking traffic behind to pick up a fair, instead of finding an appropriate place to pull in. Many times I have beeped them after sitting there for over a minute only to be ignored or waved at in percieved ignorance.
  • Edging forward at a red light, going over the line and often breaking the light in advance of the green, only to travel at 15-20mph for 500 meters. Just wait until the light goes green and accelerate as normal for Gods sake!
  • Not being courteous, not indicating, bad roundabout procedure…. the list goes on and on.

I think there should be several people who’s job it is to ride in taxi’s and mark their driving ability. If they are not diring properly their permit should be suspended until they get lessons.

Is White the New Black?

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The trends of colours is a funny thing. We are all fairly aware of how different colours are more/less popular in the world of fashion, one season its hot and next season its not, not many other areas are quite as volatile. Cars are obviously an area where we all have a preference and when buying a car, one of the major key decisions we will make is on the colour.

It’s a personal choice and psychologists will say they can tell a lot about you by the car I drive. I think my current car; a Milano Red Civic Type R probably describes my personality quite well – for the moment anyway.

Obviously, some cars look better in some colours than others. Many supercars some in wild variants of orange, yellow and green, the likes that would never be seen on family saloons. Jeremy Clarkson recently slagged off BMW because in their new range of X5’s you have an incredibly limited choice of dark greys and blues – and nothing else. Boooooorrrrrrring!

However, the one thing I have noticed recently is how pretty much all the major manufacturers, are now touting while as the new ‘cool colour’… I have to say that in this instance anyway, I have fallen to the feet of the marketers and jumped on the bandwagon with full force. A couple of years ago I would not have driven a while car if you gave it to me for free. I really thought it was a colour that just should not be used for cars at all. OK if you live in Audi Arabia and having a while car will mean its 5 degrees cooler when you get into it in the morning, that s probably a good enough reason, but apart from that – no thanks.

Now however, I have done a total 360, and now I have to say I absolutely love the colour white. As in the photo above, for some reason I just white has taken on a new persona, maybe something to do with a minimalistic and simplistic style. Its just cool. Continue reading

Diesel Supercars

Diesel is no longer just a fuel to power trucks and farm machinery. In a pretty short space of time they are now a perfectly respectable alternative in even performance cars. Audi won the 24 Hour Le Mans race in a Diesel in 2006, and they have just announced that their flagship supercar the Audi R8 – will soon be released with a 5 Litre, 600BHP Diesel Engine!

I always loved the VW ad for “Don’t forget it’s a Diesel“: