Bad weather like we’re having at the minute is a nightmare for many people… farmers, drivers, gardai, insurance companies, employers… it’s not all bad news though, i’ve actually enjoyed this bad weather we’re having for a number of reasons…
The NRA and Gardai are recommending drivers get off the roads and only drive if they absolutely have to. It seems people are listening because i’ve noticed the roads are a lot quieter going to and from college. Here’s a picture i took of my car’s outside temperature this morning…
The reality is the main roads are gritted and relatively safe, or at least have been all week. I wouldn’t quite brave speeds of 100km/hr when my car is telling me the temperature is below zero outside, but 80km/hr isn’t a problem most of the time, enough to stay in control depending on what kind of road you’re on. The thing is, on a normal day, quite a lot of people travel at 80km/hr anyway so believe it or not even in woeful conditions and as low as -10 degrees outside, very little time is added on to my journey, because i pretty much have the road to myself.
The only problem is when you’re unlucky enough to stumble upon a car doing maybe 30km/hr… overly cautious and because slush and ice tends to gather in the median of the road, overtaking is very difficult and usually i deem it too risky so i have to hang back and hope the car in front turns off somewhere and isn’t headed in the same direction i’m headed, otherwise my 45 minute journey turns in to a 90 minute one which is exactly what happened a few days ago. Strings of traffic build up because car no.2 doesn’t want to overtake car no.1 (acceptable in these conditions, not acceptable under normal conditions i have to add!) and from car no.3 backwards, overtaking involves needing a huge amount of visibility (which is rare on irish roads) and harsh acceleration (which is just plain stupid when it’s freezing outside).
Parking for everyone!
One massive problem at DkIT is parking. Turn up after about 9am Monday – Thursday and you won’t get a parking spot on campus despite the fact there’s about 900 spaces. Fridays are usually ok. All this week however, there’s been an abundance of free parking spaces (and by free i mean empty, they still cost €2/day). Better yet, because of the all snow, none of the white lines are visible so you can just abandon your car anywhere… i’m not sure clampers can clamp you if the spaces and non spaces aren’t visible – i’m guessing they can’t.
Redundant Speed Cameras
I’d imagine the government hate to see cold weather like this hit us so early in winter. It costs them a bomb in buying grit and distributing it, the economy loses millions due to sick days and late clock ins and now i’m guessing the new network of privately operated, but publicly funded speed cameras will be reporting a huge reduction in revenue too
Unless you’re foolish enough to break speed limits in this weather (and probably risk your life doing so), speed camera revenue should drop significantly. That’s good for drivers as it means fewer fines & penalty points and the weather acts as a natural deterrent for speeding. These days the speed cameras may as well be roadside decorations… it’s not them that make drivers slow down, it’s the weather.
Perhaps the government could invest the cash in something more productive during the winter months…