Jethro has kindly echoed what many are thinking in Europe, as well as Australia
This is a worry. We are under seige from all sides : autonomous cars, average speed cameras and the general demonisation of the simple act of driving. Up to now I've always felt that as a nation we've been out of step with all the politicking over motoring. Fuel prices gone crazy ? Shrug you're shoulders and fill up. Endless "Speed Kills" campaigns that ignore driver education getting more gruesome ?. Sales of performance cars keep rising. The message from the British public was clear. Yeah, we get it and want to be safe and responsible............ stop telling us what to do.
No longer. It feels like we've collectively given up and are just plodding along in a trance. Even worse, we're desperate to incriminate others. The Police have a website where you can upload you're dashcam footage of other road users behaving in a way that copuld be deemed dangerous. Now, I love a good Russian dashcam video on YouTube, but I'm scared by the idea of a one-second zero-context snapshot of my driving being used to prosecute me.
So I want to use this column as a call to action. It's up to us, the car enthusiasts, to remind people that driving can be fun and fascinating. It can take you to new places to meet new people. Smile when you drive. Be polite. Overtake people when it is safe to do so to remind people that mindlessly following a truck or one of the legion of "43 mph everywhere" drivers is not a rational or reasonable thing to do. Use you're Classic Car and spend time discussing it with curious people. Tell them about Track days or car shows or whatever it is you love to do.
Most importantly, don't give up. Keep reading car magazines, watching videos, tuning into car shows on TV. Keep believing that it's Okay to love cars. Teach you're kids to drive. I mean, really DRIVE........ To be smooth, to look ahead, and to sue their mirrors and indicators with the hope that maybe their ability will rub off on others. Buy cars with manual gearboxes. Don't buy an SUV.
Finally, and this is non-negotiable - do not buy Dashcams. To rediscover the joy of driving, we need to stop treating all drivers as criminals in waiting.
Thank you Modern Classics Magazine, and thank you Jethro Bovingdon.