UKC

Not the best motorway warning sign...

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 ThunderCat 02 Jun 2021

"20 mph - oncoming vehicle". These came on the M62 westbound around the Saddleworth area about half a hour ago.

Expected to see something very bad happen given that the traffic was relatively light and fast flowing, and that most people seemed to ignore the warning.

Got off at the Saddleworth turnoff without incident but hopefully nothing bad has actually come of it. 

 mountainbagger 02 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

I had these flashing at me once at 4am on the M40 on my way to Scotland.

Nothing around at all just the odd lorry, so kept my speed up as they seemed to be flashing for ages with nothing happening.

Then, blue lights flashing (lots of them) but on the other carriageway coming towards me.

Was wondering what was going on when whoosh! A car on my carriageway flashed past at a closing speed of around 180mph (I was probably doing 80mph and they were most certainly exceeding the limit more than I was). I was in the middle lane, they were in the fast lane (but obvs going the wrong way). They didn't have any lights on. I was a bit shocked and almost didn't believe it had just happened.

Could have been an awful crash and lesson learnt!

 ThunderCat 02 Jun 2021
In reply to mountainbagger:

Brown trouser moment I bet

 wintertree 02 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

Glad you’re alive to report it!  Wrong way motorway stuff is terrifying.

I never really appreciated the matrix signs on our motorway network until I did a road trip in the south west USA.  I also didn’t appreciate lane discipline enough until then.  Also I no longer complain about our road surfaces.  Who knew that cats eyes and paint full of retro reflecting microspheres were so awesome?  Roads with drainage built in turn out to be a good idea too.  

I did take to their freeform undertaking/overtaking system though; it’s like a madcap video game.  It’s like the quick and the dead out west; you need to have way better situational awareness to both sides of the vehicle side and behind, and develop an immunity to tailgaters.

 ThunderCat 02 Jun 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> I did take to their freeform undertaking/overtaking system though; it’s like a madcap video game.  It’s like the quick and the dead out west; you need to have way better situational awareness to both sides of the vehicle side and behind, and develop an immunity to tailgaters.

I remember driving through Death Valley and getting really annoyed with a tailgater. I was going to start making rude signs in the mirror... Then Mrs TC reminded me there was always the chance he had a large gun in the car, that we were in a very remote part of the desert, and that sometimes people go missing and only turn up in small parts in various cellars decades later. 

 wintertree 02 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

> Then Mrs TC reminded me there was always the chance he had a large gun in the car, 

They should really issue temporary open carry licences with the visa waiver / ESTA.

”When in Rome”.

One thing I really liked in California; on the back roads, every time I came up behind a car they’d slow and pull in to a dirt/gravel turnout (longer than a UK passing place but much worse surface and present on roads with a lane in each direction) to let me past.  I’d do likewise in the less common case of someone coming up behind me.  

Such communistical bonhomie seems very un-American but it’s wonderful; the basic idea that if someone clearly wants to go faster you take a moment to help them do so - we could learn from them.

1
 Welsh Kate 02 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

I'm very glad I wasn't driving back in the '90s when we swept onto a newly opened section of the GRA (Rome's M25) just as night was falling. It was a four lane section, there were no lane markings, no cats eyes, and a typical Roman approach to 'lane' discipline, all at well over the 130kph speed limit. I'm rather glad we got off it with no bumps or loss of life!

In reply to wintertree:

I have only seen that sign once and I wondered which lane would be the best lane to sit in, I'm not one for hogging a lane but middle seemed best because it gave me most opportunity to move out of the way should they be coming down. Luckily the police had got them to the hard shoulder when I passed them

 George Ormerod 03 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

My wife phoned me up when I was driving home on the M6. Be careful, she said, there’s one idiot driving on the wrong side of the road.  One, I said, there’s hundreds of ‘em. 

 fmck 03 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

When I worked on the M8 it was surprising the amount of nut cases there were. I blocked a car trying to go down an exit ramp. It kept reversing and trying to go round me but I kept swinging the truck round to block it again and again. Eventually the person gave up but clearly furious at me.

Another ended up in our closed lane and we could find no entrance other than they stopped and opened the cones and then replaced them after entry.

In reply to ThunderCat:

What a terrifying thread! But useful, so thank you

In reply to wintertree:

> Such communistical bonhomie seems very un-American but it’s wonderful; the basic idea that if someone clearly wants to go faster you take a moment to help them do so - we could learn from them.

In India overtaking is a three-party thing - many lorries even have signwriting on the back saying "beep me if you want past" or somesuch.  Whereas here people seem to speed up to prevent you overtaking.

In reply to ThunderCat:

With orange flashers I'd be concerned about dropping to 20 in case I got rear-ended as people generally don't follow them.  An advantage of smart motorways is that people do due to the cameras.

In reply to ThunderCat:

Two or three times in the last few years I've seen motorway signs say "reports of pedestrians in carriageway" not many people slowing down and I saw no signs of pedestrians.

I guess I could next time though.

 timjones 03 Jun 2021
In reply to mountain.martin:

> Two or three times in the last few years I've seen motorway signs say "reports of pedestrians in carriageway" not many people slowing down and I saw no signs of pedestrians.

> I guess I could next time though.

I've seen those a few times over the years.

It would be nice if they posted a "carry on as normal" meesage once you had passed the potential hazard.

In reply to wintertree:

> > Then Mrs TC reminded me there was always the chance he had a large gun in the car, 

> They should really issue temporary open carry licences with the visa waiver / ESTA.

There was a time in the 80s or 90s when so many tourists were getting carjacked and mugged after picking up rental cars in Miami they figured the crime problem was due to people coming off planes not being sufficiently well armed and the proposed solution was allowing rental companies to rent guns with the car.   

In reply to ThunderCat:

Wondered what that was about1

Caught the end if it I think near Rochdale for 20 minutes or so

 NottsRich 03 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

Had the same message on the M6 near Tebay a few days ago. Didn't see anything except a fast police car on the other carriageway. No idea where the supposed other vehicle was. Seems like it's not that uncommon!

Also shows how little attention or regard people have of those signs. You would have thought a possible oncoming car on the motorway would make people slow down and stick to a lane. Perhaps they don't know what 140+mph looks like?

 Monk 03 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

Not on a motorway, but a dual carriageway... driving home for Christmas, I was overtaking a campervan on a bend in the road, when suddenly there were headlights in my lane. Just managed to swerve into the slow lane inches from the back of the camper and control the violent change in direction as the oncoming  car swept past. Probably the scariest thing that's ever happened to me. There was a kid in the back of the camper, and i can still see his eyes and the look on his face. I had flashbacks every time I got in the car for several months, and I still get a weird feeling on that bend even 20 years later. 

 Ciro 03 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

I was coming up through France once, empty road and many hours of soporific driving under my belt, when a guy hammering it on the other side of the motorway flashed his lights frantically at me. "What the hell was that for?" I wondered.

A few seconds later someone came round the corner, rocketing towards me on my side of the road.

After I'd cleaned my pants, I quietly thanked the good Samaritan who'd ensured I was alert.

 colinakmc 03 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

Years ago I was coming down the Loch Lomondside road on a wet night after a day on the hills, in the dark - before most of it got upgraded so on a twisty bit (which I was tackling in robust style) I came round a bend to find two pairs of headlights coming towards me, side by side. I slammed the brakes on, but there was no time, so I let them off again and steered sharply on to the verge (which was the side with the Loch beyond it). Fortunately there were no trees at the precise bit. Equally fortunately I was driving my mate’s car.....Sierras did off roading quite well.

Post edited at 21:16
In reply to ThunderCat:

The inverse, this was a legendary one in 2018 in Hawaii after a text message was sent in error to everyone in Hawaii on the legitimate Emergeny Alert service "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL"

Which one do you choose to believe?


 G. Tiger, Esq. 04 Jun 2021
In reply to mountain.martin:

I saw "horses in road" signs on the M1 once. They came on while I was driving, so I stayed on an extra junction just to see if I could see them. I was sadly disappointed.

GTE

 ollie_e 04 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

We came up behind a car driving on the wrong side of the road in Africa (Rocklands) a few years ago.  No amount of headlight flashing or waving and shouting out the window at them would make them move, so overtook (on the right side of the road) and got ahead of them.  It was a very quiet road, so fortunately there was no one coming in the opposite direction and the car turned off to park without incident.

Unfortunately a week or so later we heard about some Americans having a head on collision with another car early in the morning due to being on the wrong side of the road...

 profitofdoom 04 Jun 2021
In reply to ollie_e:

> Unfortunately a week or so later we heard about some Americans having a head on collision with another car early in the morning due to being on the wrong side of the road...

I was driving a rented car in America many years ago when I fell fast asleep. The car bumped a bit and flashed into the opposite carriageway. Very luckily there were no cars coming the other way and I stopped. The worst thing was the look of terror on the face of the hitchhiker I was carrying. I learned my lesson and am now careful to never ever let it happen again 

 fmck 04 Jun 2021
In reply to profitofdoom:

I did the same coming back fro Glastonbury festival in the early 90s. Scared the shit out of everyone as the car had drifted into the hardshoulder.

I stopped at the next service station and asked everyone if they wanted anything. I was met with 3 wide eyed passengers who informed me I had been passed out at the wheel for 4 hours!

 SAF 04 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

Years ago an ambulance crew from my station went to a truly tragic case of a young women who drove down the wrong side of the motorway.

It was middle of the night so not much traffic around and the police were desperately trying to get to the car (reports of drunk driver/driving erratically) but didn't make it in time and she collided with a van in a horrific accident (half her car pretty much gone).

The crew were really confused because she had an obvious head injury on one side and was decorticate (abnormal posturing) on the opposite limbs and had a blown pupil on the other side and was paralysed on the opposite limbs. Turned out she had suffered a massive stroke whilst driving and in the resulting confusion had ended up on the wrong side.

She survived, but she was only young and suffered so much.

 Yanis Nayu 04 Jun 2021
In reply to ThunderCat:

If it’s only going 20 you’ve got plenty of time to swerve round it. 

In reply to ollie_e:

The only time I've driven on the wrong side of the road was in Australia in 1997. On the obvious east coast tourist trail we'd rented a 4x4 and gone to Fraser Island for a few days. No roads on Fraser Island. 
Got the ferry back and for some reason I had this notion of "I am driving off a ferry into a country that is not the UK so I need to drive on the right". 
No harm done as there was no traffic (we must have been the last ones to leave the port) and I managed to realise what I was doing wrong after only 3 miles. In my defence, the rest of my group was Norwegian so they didn't sense anything wrong about the side of the road  


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