The Easter holidays are over and some semblance of normality has returned this morning – I didn’t sleep well because I was worried I’d oversleep (even though that’s never ever happened), Dexter wanted to make a YouTube video at 6.45am (seriously) and on top of that, I’d forgotten to buy anything for his packed lunch. On top of THAT, Dexter had to be at school early this morning as they were going on a school trip to Chessington. CHESSINGTON! I only ever went to Arundel … and it rained.
So, you can see, just a normal morning really.
We left home in plenty of time and not only did we avoid most of the usual back-to-school traffic, but I knew we’d have time to picked up a lunch for Dexter from Tesco and be one of the first (smug) parents to drop their kid off at the playground.
Except … as we reached the junction of the road by Dexter’s school the following happened.
A silver BMW was in front of us but as it pulled out of the junction, it didn’t see that a car was coming down the road … so it stopped. In the middle of the road.
And then began reversing.
Now bearing in mind I’m at the junction, and he’s obviously not seen me, I began bibbing my horn thinking he’d realize the mistake he’d made and stop. He didn’t hear me and kept reversing. And I kept bibbing. And he kept reversing and all this time I can see the car coming towards me and I haven’t got time to reverse myself and then … BANG.
He smacks straight into me.
Thankfully, he wasn’t going fast as he was reversing but trust me, when you see a car coming straight for you, and you can’t do anything, it’s pretty scary nonetheless.
I think he’d have driven off had I not put my hazard lights on, got out my car and politely gesticulated for him to come and have a chat. Thankfully (for him) he got out and as I suspected, he was in his mid-late 70’s.
We looked at the front of my car to assess any damage but instead of checking we were OK, he just made excuses that there was a car parked in the road that had blocked his vision and that really it wasn’t his fault. I had Dexter there so did my best to keep it together but suggested that perhaps he should have taken note of the fact that I WAS HONKING MY HORN LIKE A MAD WOMAN … and that maybe he should have checked his rearview mirror before reversing.
But here’s the thing … what’s the point in remonstrating with a man that old? I’m generalizing somewhat (and my Dad is in his 70’s so I’m treading carefully), but I think ‘most’ drivers get to a certain age where they really shouldn’t be allowed on the road because they’re a menace to other drivers. Yes, I’m sure we all know a Doris or Bob that are 80+ and great drivers. Trust me, they’re in the minority – my own experience of OAP drivers is that their reflexes are slow and they have no comprehension that there are other drivers on the road.
This man reversed straight into the front of my car without even checking there was anything behind him … he just shouldn’t be allowed to drive. Yes, it would hinder his independence but we were lucky this morning. Next time he does that, that person might not come off as well.
There was only a small crack to my number plate and, although shaken up, Dexter and I were OK. This time. I took his number plate down as a precaution but let him go on his way with a gentle reminder that he really should pay more attention. It fell on deaf ears.
However, my dilemma is now this. After thinking about this incident all morning, I’m wondering whether I should report him after all. Not for any personal gain on my behalf, but because now I’m concerned that he really shouldn’t be driving and if he has another accident, am I to blame because I didn’t say anything.
What would you do?
*UPDATE So I DID report him to the police – had to go to the police station and spend an hour filling in paperwork. Slight exaggeration, but I was there for ages. The officer didn’t hold out much hope that anything would be done (so that was reassuring!) but I reported it anyway – for my own conscience as much as anything. I received a letter in the post a week later to say, as suspected, that no further action would be taken against this driver. So Kent drivers beware … look out for a silver BMW with a personalised number plate and a old boy driving it .. and especially look out if he puts his car in reverse!