This is our truth, tell us yours
I spend a lot of my time on the rural roads of the North East. It’s part of my life to be able to replay the geography of single carriageways that demand knowledge, attention and caution. North of Newcastle, in that bit of England that doesn’t exist for London based journalists who think Hadrians Wall is the border with Scotland motorwaysdon;t exist and dualcarriageways are in short supply.
As a result you get to know when you might try to overtake, and when to sit back and enjoy the views of Holy Island even if, despite the assertions of the Daily Mail, it hasn’t been re-located in the River Tyne as a tourist attraction. As the only north south route on the east coast attracts regular users; not just commuters or inter city travellers, butfarmers, contractors and local residents trying to get to hospitals, the doctors or just to see friends.
There’s a road language you have to understand on the A1 or A69, as well as a code of etiquette. If you don’t plan to overtake that Asda artic full of faux designer clothing, it’s bad form to trundle along in its wake as it speeds along at 50mph, lengthening the obstacle anyone else has to overtake.
It’s only good manners to give the little signals that are an early warning system for the driver behind you. Move across to the nearside as the road straightens and you’re inviting the car behind to overtake. Move to the centre of the road and you’re flagging up an oncoming hazard or an obstacle.
You get the picture I’m sure. If the tractor hauling ten tons of grain in front of you moves to the nearside,and you don’t overtake it, you’re holding up the queue of drivers behind you.
Will a google car get that? If you’re behind a google car as you approach Mousen Bends will you be able to tell the difference between its algorithms and the behaviour of a human driver? Suddenly, the practical applications of the Turing Test could become apparent.