It is that time of the year. Cars are out on the street early in the freezing mornings wearing a white blindfold.
Actually, the drivers might as well be wearing the blindfold as they are virtually oblivious to the roads—and the riders— around them.
They have left home early, bundled up in a thick coat, stumbled into the car that was parked outside in nature’s fridge, and immediately accelerated up the street.
Within seconds the windows have fogged up. There is probably still water (or even frost) all over the exterior glass to make matter worse.
Navigating by memory. Or touch?
And as riders are reporting, they are out on these same streets, trying to stay out of trouble, while Mr and Mrs Magoo hurtle along in the SUV.
If someone was really driving their car blindfolded the police would surely pull them over.
So why has it become acceptable to drive around in a fogged up car you can barely see out of.
And it is not as if you are being forced into it.
First, you wipe the exterior windows free of moisture, especially those that don’t have their own window wipers.
Then you start the car and wait while the engine warms up.
Then you flick on the aircon, making sure that it is on the recycle setting.
Then you wait.
In a little while the moisture will be sucked out of the air and condensation on the interior windows will be arrested (so you won’t be).
What happens next is amazing. Bike riders will materialise on the street in front of you, as if by magic. They will be smiling as they cruise through the congested motor traffic.
You will be thankful that they are not in a car adding to your problems. Or, in an ambulance.
How do we fix this?
Well, for riders, I guess we just have to know that these drivers are out there, and need to be avoided. So keep a look out.
For the road authorities and the police, make sure that the community understands their responsibilities.
And if there are any radio station announcers reading this, get the message out on the next chilled morning: no driving blind, please.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.