Wednesday, 30 January 2008

unsung heroes

Many of us probably take the salt gritters for granted.

If the ground is not gritted, we moan and blame them.

If the ground is gritted, we are pleased but often take it for granted.

Yes, no doubt that these salt gritters, just like many working class, are paid.

But think about it.

They have to wake up at some ungodly hour in the morning.

They need to know when to grit and when not to grit.

(Don’t think the public would be pleased to know that their hard earned, hard-to-let-go-but-no-choice-of paying council tax money is being used to grit the grounds and roads during summer.)

And I’m sure they are not just hired or salaried to grit the roads and pavements only. What about the days that they don’t need to grit the grounds?

Anyways, I just thought that it is so nice of them to grit the ground.

I almost slipped on the frosted pavement within the work compound this morning.

On an unrelated incident...

Yesterday as I was walking within the work compound, passing the few office blocks and warehouses, a car almost hit a pedal cyclist.

I think the driver of the car was avoiding a group of men walking on the left hand side of the road and then she probably wasn’t paying much attention. Although the road was wide enough, she had a wee swerve to the right.

Anyways, that is not what that matters.

I was walking on the right hand side of the road. A pedal cyclist cycled past my left and then he was going to pass by the right side of the car. However, the car just turned sharply without indicating, into a parking bay on the right, narrowly missed the cyclist.

That was honestly a near miss incident.

Thank God the cyclist was fine.

During my trip to Shetland months ago, I cycled from Lerwick to Scalloway. It was a 14 miles cycle between the towns. I couldn’t cycle to save my life but managed to cycle there and back, all 28 miles (!), with majority of the time what I called ‘bike-pushing’. Luckily I went on the trip alone.

The point is that as a driver, you wouldn’t realise what it is like being a pedal cyclist until you experienced it for yourself. Although the traffic in Shetland was not as busy compared to a city and the roads were wide enough with a rather large verge, it was still quite a scary situation.

You can’t cycle fast because the cross winds were so strong and can flip you over from the side. You can’t cycle too slowly because besides defeating the purpose of cycling, you will also get blown down. Cycling in Shetland IS definitely an experience.

Anyways, we easily take for granted that we, as a driver are protected within the car, ignoring other seemingly ‘unimportant’ road users. Everyone is important on the road, whether they are in/on a smaller or bigger vehicle/mode of transport, whether they are walking or running, and whether they are in the same vehicle as you.

I know I’m not the best of drivers but it is still everyone’s responsibility to use the road safely.

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