Graham Hurdle's blog: 7 August 2013 - Beware the drivers who pigeonhole others
07 August 2013
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
The Daily Mail reported last week that a man banned for drink-driving promptly left court, got back in his car and drove off.
Uldis Keisis, 42, from Shoreham-by-sea, West Sussex, lost his licence on 25 June at a court hearing in nearby Worthing. Yet court staff saw him drive away moments later and called the police, who stopped him on the A27 towards Lancing.
The following day he pleaded guilty to driving without a licence. He was sentenced to eight weeks' custody, suspended for 12 months.
He was also given 200 hours community service as well as a further year added to his original three-year ban and was ordered to pay £85 in costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
What struck me when reading this article were the comments left online. The views of most readers (although not all) appeared to make reference to the driver being from a foreign country, although the article itself didn't state his nationality.
I can only assume, something most of the commentators obviously did, that the man's name was what led them to believe he was of foreign descent. This small sample
of the population clearly felt that his nationality was, in some way, to blame for his actions.
But while you may be as appalled as I am by this attitude, drivers do like to pigeonhole other drivers.
We've got white van man, Sunday motorists, elderly drivers, boy racers etc. Yet the problem of pigeonholing is that it gives a driver an excuse to offload their own shortcomings on the driver that isn't in the same group as they are.
How many times have you found yourself closely following another vehicle, blaming the elderly driver for going too slowly? But is it you or the elderly driver who is at fault?
The issue is, if you crash into the rear of the elderly driver, you have your excuses ready: 'It wasn't my fault, the elderly driver was driving far too slowly for the road.' You may get others to believe you, but worse still is if you become convinced this is true yourself.
Fleet managers should watch out for drivers who say 'it wasn't my fault' because if they believe they could have done nothing to avoid the crash they will learn nothing from the experience and keep making the same mistakes time and time again.
All crashes involve one or more drivers doing something that contributed to it. If you believe you are behind an elderly driver who is going too slowly, why get so close as to increase your chances of an accident?
If a boy racer is tailgating you, why not keep a steady speed and let them go?
The next time a driver says 'it wasn't my fault', fleet managers should investigate the crash fully so the driver understands their shortcomings.