5 rules of the road that are actually law

Do you remember The Highway Code? You know, that book we study religiously so we can pass our driving test, and then it never sees the light of day again. Let’s face it, most of their ‘rules of road’ are normally very quickly forgotten once we’ve passed our tests, as we deal with all the other road users who have forgotten the contents as well.

Is The Highway Code the law?

No, as it stands alone, The Highway Code is not law. However, many of its ‘rules’ are backed up by law, and if you disobey those rules you will be committing a criminal offence.

The rules in the Code, that are supported by the law can be identified by the use of the words ‘MUST’ and ‘MUST NOT’ instead of ‘should’ and ‘should not’. These rules also include reference to the legislation they relate to.

Here are five ‘rules of the road’ that drivers are wont to ignore, but are, in fact, enforceable by law:

Environmentally friendly

You’ve pulled up on the road outside the shop, your passenger jumps out to run and buy that pint of milk, and you sit there with the engine running.

You’re only going to be a few minutes, so you don’t need to turn the engine off, right?

Wrong!

Rule 123 of The Highway Code states that: “You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.”

The rule goes on to state that if you are likely to remain stationary for more than a couple for minutes, you should switch off the engine to reduce emissions and noise pollution. The only time when it is permissible to leave the engine running is when you are in traffic or for diagnosing faults.

Obviously, if you are in traffic and it seems obvious that you may not be moving for some time, drivers should use a common sense approach and switch off the engine.

Don’t be a litterbug

We’ve all seen people do it. Those drivers, and passengers, who carelessly toss their rubbish out of their car window as it’s moving along.

Aside from all the environmental arguments, especially with the climate emergency being top of the agenda these days, it’s actually illegal to throw rubbish out of your car.

Rule 147 of the Code states: “You MUST NOT throw anything out of a vehicle; for example, food or food packaging, cigarette ends, cans, paper or carrier bags. This can endanger other road users, particularly motorcyclists and cyclists.”

Why would people do this anyway? (Answers in the comments below)

Mini roundabouts

Ok, hands up, who’s simply just driven over those painted mini-roundabouts? Especially if there’s no one coming the other way.

This is something we’ve probably all done, but guess what? Unless you’re driving a large vehicle, and a 4×4 doesn’t count as such, this could actually land you in trouble.

Rule 188 states the following: “All vehicles MUST pass round the central markings except large vehicles which are physically incapable of doing so. Remember, there is less space to manoeuvre and less time to signal.”

Something else most drivers have probably done is make a U-turn at a mini-roundabout. Yes? You might want to think twice about that as well. Although it’s not strictly a ‘MUST NOT’, the rule is written as ‘avoid’.

Lights and weather

Why do drivers:

a)            Forget to put their lights on when it’s foggy, or raining really hard?

b)            Put their fog lights on in bright sunshine, or at night?

Let’s face it, when it comes to fog, you’ve walked out of the house to get into the car and can see the weather, why would you not put your lights on? Do you have a death wish?

And in most cars it’s impossible to activate fog lights unless the lights are on, so why, unless you’ve accidentally nudged the ‘on’ switch, would you drive around in broad daylight with your fog lights or headlights glaring?

These are two of driving’s biggest unanswered questions, and again, if you know the answer to these conundrums, answers welcome in the comments below.

However, in either scenario, you are committing an offence.

Rule 226 states: “You MUST use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced, generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 feet). You may also use front or rear fog lights but you MUST switch them off when visibility improves.”

Likewise, Rule 236 states: “You MUST NOT use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced (see Rule 226) as they dazzle other road users and can obscure your brake lights. You MUST switch them off when visibility improves.”

How difficult is it for drivers to remember a simple rule: “If you can’t see your hand in front of your face, put your lights on and if it’s a bright sunny day, turn your lights off.”? (Unless you’re driving a car that automatically turns the lights, when you switch the engine on, e.g., Volvo)

Pavement parking

Parking wholly or partially on pavements has been making the news recently, with many councils now stepping in to take measures against it.

In this instance, according to The Highway Code Rule 244, in London it is illegal, but everywhere else the rule is that you should not, unless it is specified that you can.

However, there is a big difference between parking a little on the kerb to keep your vehicle out of the way of traffic and blocking the pavement entirely causing an obstruction which can seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.

So, unless you’re in London, it’s advisable to use common sense.

Now I want to hear from you?

Did you know any of these rules were enforceable by law?

What other rules do you know that are, but aren’t mentioned here?

Let me know in the comments right now.

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A Comedy of Errors and a shambolic day in Melbourne

To further quote that play by William Shakespeare: “Until I know this sure uncertainty, I’ll entertain the offered fallacy.”

Let’s face it, the confusion and speculation over whether the Australian Grand Prix should continue following the news that one of the McLaren team had tested positive for COVID-19 would not have looked out of place in a farce on the West End stage.

First it was on, then it was off, then no one was sure and then fans were turning up in anticipation of first practice.

There was news that both Kimi and Seb had already left Australia and some teams were already packing up, and yet the entire motorsport community including all the media guys in Australia were stumbling around in the dark.

All the while the FIA, Formula 1 and the organisers of the Australian Grand Prix remained silent. Jean Todt himself was out on an evening jolly instead of taking charge of the situation.

Finally, it was official that the Grand Prix would be cancelled. However, as yet there is still no word on whether there will be racing in Bahrain next week (!) or whether the inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix will take place.

For fans and teams alike it’s disappointing and frustrating in equal measure:

Even though the organisers have said they will refund the money for their tickets, for the many fans who have saved up to buy tickets and maybe travelled half-way around the globe for the race it will undoubtedly not quite soften the blow.

And for the teams themselves it must be heart-breaking. All that hard work over the winter to get the cars ready in time for testing, and then literally at the last minute to be told: “Sorry guys!” means it was all for nothing.

There are so many questions I’m sure that will need answering, but most importantly why did it take so long to reach a decision and why was there no communication?

For what is seen as the pinnacle of motorsport to be shown up like this is saddening, especially as IndyCar, Formula E and WEC appear to be on the ball and more proactive in their approach to this global issue.

But what are you thought?

Do you think they should have raced?

How do you think this situation has been handled?

Let me know in the comments below.

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Everything you wanted to know about WRC …

… and more is in this amazing new book by Alexandru Dobai.

If you’re a devoted rally fan, then Alexandru’s labour of love, ‘The World Rallye Guide’, would be a superb addition to your bookshelf. And if you work in the industry, forget Google Search, this is your go-to, one-stop reference.

The book traces the World Rally Championship (WRC) from its inaugural championship race, the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally and includes every single round until the end of the 2019 season. That’s a total of almost 600 rounds.

The 800-page book is jam-packed with information. Each round has its own page and includes; top 10 classification, special stage winners, distances and starters and finishers, along with the rally plate and a picture.

There are also more than 40 pages of statistics and tables covering everything you always wanted to know, as well as a complete WRC record of drivers with at least three championship starts to their name.

‘The World Rallye Guide’ is available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook here, or in paperback here.

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Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards ‘DRS’ special edition – Abu Dhabi GP 2019

DRS was unavailable for the first 16 laps of the race.

Did it make the race slightly (emphasis on the slightly) more interesting for you? It certainly seemed to bunch the pack together a bit more, and the drivers certainly had to work for the overtake.

It did release a plethora of funny tweets into the twitterverse, so without further ado, here is the Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards ‘DRS’ special edition for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019:

10th place

@XKitekid with live scenes on the pitwall.

9th place

@photo_gt97 with an actual screenshot of the computer in the FOM room.

8th place

@zigzagoog with footage of radio communication between drivers and the pitwall.

7th place

@TarasDemerson with live scenes as the race stewards try to get DRS to start.

6th place

@timwagner66 with live scenes as F1 make another attempt to restart the DRS.

5th place

@MotorsportWeek with live footage of the F1 IT department’s advice to the technicians …

4th place

@PitCrew_Online … you’ve really got to pity 2nd line support. It’s all very well for the helpdesk to say turn it off and on again, but they’ve got to get their hands dirty…

3rd place

The irony of losing DRS was not lost on @dibhayles

2nd place

@f1_ds16 with live footage from the pit walls as the teams tried various strategies to get DRS working.

1st place

@Planet_F1 with footage of what was really going during the DRS ‘down’ stage of the race …

Of course, after 16 or so laps DRS was fully restored and then entire grid just went:

And that really is that.

21 races. Many, many, many funny tweets.

Thank you all for taking part. I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have.

TheFunniest Tweet Awards will be back in 2020, fear not.

You have approximately 100 or so days until ights out in Melbourne, plenty of time to get soome practice in.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas.xx

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Top 10 Funniest Tweet Awards – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019

Let’s face it, that was not the most exciting race of the year.

In fact, it ensured the race ended with a whimper instead of a bang.

The biggest bang came from the spectacular fireworks that were set off at the end of the race.

That’s not to say the race didn’t have it’s moments. It did, one or two, but that was it.

There was some brilliant action in the mid-field between Renault and McLaren, however this never seemed to filter to the TV screens, so we just had to take it one hearsay.

In fact, as @drummerJoshG noted:

Aside from the few on-track moments, the main talking points of the race were:

Ferrari’s significant discrepancy between declared and actual fuel levels in Leclerc’s car. This Technical Directive (TD) was flagged before lights out, but the stewards are only just looking at it now, after the race.

And, a DRS problem that meant that for the first 16 laps of the race DRS was not available. There were so many funny tweets about that, I have decided to run a final special edition of the year dedicated to that issue.

But back to the funny tweets, of which there were many.

After a much-needed cup to tea, to wake me up, I have deliberated and judged this week’s entries, and here are the top 10 Funniest Tweets for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019:

10th place

@ThePinkStig with an accurate description of the relationship between what the tyre graphics on screen say, and the real-life situation.

9th place

@TarasDemerson with live onboard footage from Verstappen’s car after his pit stop. Apparently something was wrong with the car, however this didn’t stop him closing the gap to Leclerc and steaming passed.

8th place

@XKitekid with a replay of Giovanazzi passing Kubica, which resulted in some damage to Kubica’s car.

7th place

@RJoseRazoJr with live footage of the “Battle for Midfield” … food fight!!!!

6th place

@robwattsf1 with live scenes from the Medio room in Abu Dhabi as journalists access their ‘highlights’ folder in an attempt to write up their race reports.

5th place

@bbcf1 with an interesting question? My theory is, that having exhausted all 26 letters of the alphabet this year on plans that failed to materialise, Ferrari are starting again at ‘A’. What do you think?

4th place

@timwagner66 with live onboard footage from Verstappen’s car, as Max is told his car can’t be fixed…

3rd place

@zigzagoog with live scenes from the pitlane as Ferrari attempt a double stack pit stop. As you can see, it didn’t quite go as planned.

2nd place

@Jontys_Corner with live footage from Verstappen’s car as he senses the Ferraris may make a second pit stop.

1st place

@jamesmaytrainer with live scenes from the Ferrari strategy room as they hit the button to adopt their strategy for the day.

But that’s not all folks!

Keep your eyes peeled for a ‘DRS’ special edition, hitting the internet very soon.

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F1 Bake Off – Round 21 – Abu Dhabi

Well, I’ve done it. Another year of F1 Bake Offs.

21 countries, 21 cakes. Some heavenly, some hellish, but most of all a lot of fun had.

For the final bake off of the year I have tried to make ‘Basboosa’, a simple cake made of yoghurt and sweet semolina – it’s not, as I said in the video gluten-free, clearly I was having a ‘senior moment’!!!

It was very easy and quick to make, and tastes rather lovely.

The recipe I used was from ‘Lecker and Yummy Recipes‘ website:

Basboosa

Ingredients

  • 500g Yogurt
  • 500g Semolina
  • 600g Sugar – 200g (cake), 400g (syrup)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 125g Butter
  • ½tsp Vanilla essence
  • 3 tsp Baking powder
  • 3 tbsp Bread crumbs
  • 1 Lemon – juice
  • 750ml Water
  • 50g Dry Coconut flakes (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 175C, which is Gas Mark 3½ or 155C if you have a fan oven
  2. Into a bowl add the yogurt, eggs, 200 gms sugar and the vanilla extract
  3. Mix well and combine
  4. Melt the butter separately
  5. Let it cool for about 5-7 minutes
  6. Add the butter to the yogurt mixture and mix well without forming any lumps, until the sugar is fully dissolved
  7. Add the semolina and the baking powder
  8. Mix well until everything is combined
  9. Take a big cake tin, either rectangular or a circular, and grease it with butter
  10. Sprinkle the bread crumbs to cover the entire bottom of the cake tin
  11. Pour over the prepared cake mixture
  12. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes until it turns golden brown. NOTE: This time may vary slightly according to the depth of the tin used. So watch out for the golden browning or insert a skewer to check out if its comes out clean
  13. Whilst the cake is cooking, prepare the syrup by dissolving 400g of sugar in 750ml water and bring it to a boil
  14. Cook for a further 5 minutes
  15. Then add the lemon juice and let it boil for another 2 minutes
  16. Then set aside for cooling
  17. When the cake is done, allow it to cool on a wirerack for about 5 minutes
  18. Then slowly pour the sugar syrup evenly all over the cake
  19. Allow it to seep down and soak for about half an hour
  20. Cut the cake into small squares
  21. Sprinkle dry coconut flakes for decor – optional

NOTES:

  • The bread crumbs at the bottom form a beautiful brown crust matching the golden brown surface and gets soaked in the syrup to become juicier.
  • I was a bit concerned about the amount of syrup the recipe makes, so I didn’t use all of it to soak the cake in, as I didn’t want to turn it too sickly sweet. I think I might have used too little though. My chief taster, my dad, said it was a tad dry, as for me I thought it was nice, just the way it was. So, depending on how sweet you like your cake, use as much or as little as you like.

And here’s how I made it:

And that’s it.

Thank you for joining me on this journey around the world in cake.

Do you want to see more next season?

Or if you have any other ideas/challenges for me to do, let me know in the comments below.

Enjoy the final race.

x

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F1 Book Club – Round 21 – Abu Dhabi

This week I read ‘The Sand Fish’ by Maha Gargash

Book:    The Sand Fish

Author: Maha Gargash

ISBN:     9-780-061-744-679

Coming of age in the 1950s, seventeen-year-old Noora is unlike other women of the sun-battered mountains at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Though she shares their poverty and, like them, bears life’s hardships without complaint, she is also fiery and independent.

Following the death of her mother and her father’s descent into dazed madness, Nora flees the threat of an arranged marriage, only to be driven back to her unwanted fate by disappointment and heartbreak.

As the third wife to a rich, much older man, Noora struggles to adjust to her new home by the sea, thinking of herself as the sand fish – the desert lizard she observed in the mountains, which, stuck in the wrong place and desperate to escape, smashed itself again and again into unyielding rocks.

But then a light is shone into her miserable darkness, resulting in an unexpected passion, a shocking indiscretion and a secret that could jeopardize Noora’s life.

Yes, I know the front of the book says ‘Dubai;, but the inside cover says the locations are imaginary places “based on the various societies that lived in the region that today makes up the United Arab Emirates and the Musandam Peninsula of Oman.”

I loved this book. From the first page I was hooked, and found it very difficult to put down.

The book is beautifully written and from the outset you empathise with Noora’s plight.

From her heartbreak to the way she is treated by ‘the matchmakers’ as a piece of meat, by her brother as nothing more than a commodity and by the two other wives of the pearl merchant who mock her.

Once married off to the pearl merchant, the development of their relationship was interesting as he taught her about his business and really opened up to Noora, in a way he didn’t with the other two wives.

But you also got to witness the power men held over their wives and the, sometimes brutal way people were treated.

It’s obvious from the blurb on the back, that Noora falls in love, and you can probably guess that it’s not with the pearl merchant. Although she does hold him in high regard, it doesn’t seem that she loves him. She falls desperately in love with someone who works for the pearl merchant, and this ‘relationship’ is encouraged by the first wife.

If the ‘affair’ had been discovered, it would almost certainly mean death for Noora, and perhaps the same fate for her lover. Thankfully it doesn’t, and the only reason the first wife encourages it, is purely to get Noora pregnant and produce an heir for the pearl merchant. She does get pregnant and the pearl merchant is none the wiser.

There is one final twist in the story for Noora, but I’m not going to spoil that for you.

The ending wasn’t the best, and I was left wanting more. But it certainly didn’t detract from the beauty of the story.

So would I recommend this one? You bet!

Here’s my online review:

Have you already read it, what did you think?

Or have you read any other books by Emirati authors and what would you recommend?

Let me know in the comments below right now.

And that’s it, 21 races, 21, well 20 books, as I couldn’t find one about Monaco over the course of nine months.

I’ve read some brilliant books.

The award for the best book of the year goes to Carlos Ruis Zafon and ‘The Shadow of the Wind’,

The wooden spoon for the worst book of the year is a toss-up between Nicole Brossard’s ‘Mauve Desert’ and Yoko Tawada’s ‘The Last Children of Tokyo’.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the F1 Book Club as much as I have?

Something equally challenging will be back next year. Maybe another book club, maybe something else. I’ve got 110 days to come up with something.

Any ideas, let me know in the comments below.

x

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