I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I will allow anyone other than mise and he-who-worships-the-very-ground-I’m-going-under to drive my car…it’s my pride and joy and besides, it costs me an absolute fortune to run! Now it’s older than dirt at this stage, but it’s new to me and I love it, and if I’m honest, even though himself is fully licensed to drive every vehicle you can name, and he’s fully insured to drive my car, I still hate handing over the keys when I’m not sitting in the passenger seat beside him. Now don’t get me wrong; he’s a good driver, but as he’s much taller and bigger than me, he moves the seat back, he also lowers it considerably, messes with my side and rear mirrors, adjusts my dash cam, fiddles with my pre-set radio selection, leaves muddy-size 12 footprints on my mats, and Mother of Divine God…he snacks; often leaving crumbs as evidence!!! Aaagghhh!!!
Okay, you get it; I don’t like to share my vehicle, even with a fully qualified, professional driver whose record is exemplary. Therefore, if an inexperienced learner wanted to sit behind the wheel of any vehicle owned and insured by me, (even my own flesh and blood), my answer would be ‘No!’ Why? Because, unlike the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, I actually have a brain!
Look, let’s be honest here, there’s a major concern regarding the amount of deaths occurring on Irish roads, even though according to www.rsa.ie, in 2017 we saw ‘a decrease in road deaths with 159 fatalities compared with 186 in 2016.’ And, while I do recognise there is, thankfully, a slight drop in those statistics, given the poor standard of driving I witness each day, (like the fool who followed me all the way from Athlone to Roscommon town last Tuesday while continuously texting on his ‘phone, and the divvy who raced through the level crossing as the barriers came down, barely clearing it before they smashed his car’s roof), I believe we’ve probably reached a crisis point regarding accidents on our roads.
In addition, when you look closer at the RSA’s figures and see that 12 of the recorded fatalities involved learner drivers – with 10 of them associated with unaccompanied L plate holders – you can see why I’m glad that at last, the Government has decided to grow a set and hopefully run with adding the ‘Clancy Amendment’ to the Road Traffic Bill, whereby any car owner who allows an unaccompanied learner/unlicensed driver to use their vehicle could face prosecution under new measures approved by the Cabinet.
Now I don’t care if you’re a parent giving your child the loan of the car for a quick run to the supermarket for emergency milk; the fact is, if you allow an immature learner driver, or an unlicensed driver behind the wheel of what is potentially a lethal weapon in inexperienced hands, then you’re an irresponsible buffoon and you deserve to be prosecuted and you deserve to have your car seized! End of! Of course I’m not heartless, folks, I do know it can be difficult to refuse your child/nephew/partner/friend, etc., when they beg you for your car, but when you hand them those keys you’re also handing them your personal reputation, your insurance, your excellent driving record, and now, given the proposed Clancy Amendment, your guilty conscience, and to be honest, you may, (I don’t know, I’m guessing here), be refused insurance in the future. Remember that and then ask yourself…is it worth the risk?
Guys…where’s this place they call Roscommon? (Love, Leo)
According to various media reports, as a result of Leo’s I’ve-got-big-plans-for-you-suckers-if-you-keep-voting-for-me spin last week, Athlone has been declared as the ‘capital of the midlands.’ Woo hoo, how exciting, but I wouldn’t go breaking out the bubbly just yet!
You see, while it may be “a great day for the country” as a whole, as the suits decamped to Sligo, (I’m sure they’d have come to Roscommon if only they’d known where we are), to launch their €116 billion Project Ireland 2040 Plan, I realised that despite the fact the politicians have again overlooked our beautiful county and its wonderful people when planning their ‘vision’ (don’t believe me…ask the Rosalie Unit residents), there are many who’ll probably forgive them because hey, sure didn’t they rock those Hollywood-style smiles and designer suits. And didn’t they dazzle us with that impressive PowerPoint presentation – not to mention that big fat photo-op for Leo, whose boyish charm is the viscus grease with which his publicist uses to oil his expensive spin machine.
Well Leo, you may be able to bewitch, beguile and enchant the faithful with your promises – which, when decoded, appear to say –I’ll-do-absolutely-nothing-nada-nought-zero to enhance Roscommon’s economic growth.
As for Rosalie residents like Mr. Dan Connaughton, whose heartbreaking story which featured in last week’s issue upset me enormously (and I wish the family, indeed all of the families, the very best possible outcome to their extremely distressing plight), I have to say, that when push comes to shove, as far as Roscommon goes, I believe our leaders, (except local representatives who do a great job on our behalf) just cannot be ars*d. In fact, I’m going to ask if we possibly have a government (in Dublin) being run by some who possess a minimum level of intelligence, and who were voted in by a majority endowed with the exact same abilities and brainpower.