This year marks the Thirtieth anniversary of the issue date of my driving licence. I’m proud to say that there has not, to date, been a single blemish on it and neither, too, on my motor insurance accident record. But then something happened a month ago.
As I was driving along this single-lane road, I came unto the T-junction to take a right into the Bishops Avenue in Hampstead Garden Suburb. As an aside, if any Bishops did ever live on this road they will roast in HellFire as this is the billionaires’ quarters in North London; I was of course merely passing through. Anyway, back to my tale.
Four cars passed on the near side and two cyclists followed closely behind. Seeing that the road was now clear on both sides, I went into my right turn only, behold!, for a BMW X5 to emerge on my inside from nowhere. He had driven down the wrong side of the road to try and do the same manoeuvre ahead of me. Was I driving in London or Lagos? I asked myself.
As the rear passenger side of his vehicle made contact with mine, I honestly can’t say whether it was the pain of the dent in my unblemished driving record or the damage to my beautiful silver wheels that I felt more. Whichever it was, it was only increased by the audacious comment of the young driver as we both pulled up. “What was that about then?” were the words that my still slightly befuddled brain discerned. “What did you say?” As my eyes narrowed he saw the wisdom in not pursuing that line of dialogue. “OK, calm down” were the wiser words that came next only for him to return to his original insanity by asking “didn’t you see me coming?”
His audacity was breath-stopping. He had driven down the wrong lane to jump all the cars that were ahead of him in the queue: an act of criminality of itself with potential hazard to any vehicle that might have been turning into that lane from the Bishops Avenue. He was now compounding the misdemeanour by disclaiming responsibility for the collision. His calculation was that he had a passenger in his car that he could call as a witness while I was alone.
When such is your agenda, the last person you want to run into is a litigation lawyer, for one. That he didn’t respond to my rejoinder question: “How many lanes do you see on that road we turned out of?” did not matter as the next thing was that a good citizen and driving instructor, from @batchdrivingschool, slowed up to hand me his card saying “I’ve got it all on webcam if ever you need it”. With that I knew the case was slam-dunk but it seemed as if this joker-driver was slightly deaf, as well as been very daft, as he gave his insurers an entirely different version of the events which had himself at the head of the queue at the junction.
I waited for him to spin his yarn out fully with his insurers, to the point that they were hotly disputing liability for the damage to my car and my claim for a courtesy car, before I landed the ‘AJ uppercut’ with the webcam evidence showing him driving down the wrong side of the road.
I didn’t know what car I was going to be getting as a courtesy vehicle but I did want that joker-driver to feel some pain for his recklessness and his audacity and to be a little more careful next time. I have to say that I could easily get used to this Porsche 911 Carerra Turbo my insurers have laid on for me at the expense of his insurers. It’s an animal!