Voices

Give me a wave, not the finger

Tony Bosworth says he might be old fashioned, but why can’t you thank him when he lets you in?

I have to tell you, when I moved here from the UK almost 20 years ago I couldn’t believe the lack of manners on the roads. Yes, I know that if I don’t like it I can eff off back home, I’m used to that witty repartee. But what about this – how about having some manners? Yeah? There’s an idea, eh?

I’m talking about when I let someone in – usually some muppet who comes up fast in the left lane which merges into my lane – it would be nice if he or she could just give me a wave of thanks.  Thanks for letting me in. Try it. It’s quite easy. It doesn’t use many muscles, and it’s done in a flash. It won’t even strain your wrist.

What gets me even more is when you’re in slow moving traffic and you let someone out from a side road and they don’t thank you. I see, so you’d prefer I just don’t let you out? Because that’s what ends up happening and then that leads to annoyance and that feeds into bad driving, and all because, well you couldn’t be bothered to say, thank-you.

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I’ve even been held up in car parks when some wally has reversed out in front of me. Okay, I understand you couldn’t wait the two seconds to let me by first, and I am fully aware there is a burger or deep fried piece of rubbery chicken waiting with your name on it. I can forgive you for having no taste but I can’t forgive you for not thanking me for letting you out. Here’s the thing – it doesn’t cost you anything.

Of course, more times than not when someone has muscled in or cut me off I just toot the horn and raise a hand – thank-you. Just the palm of my hand (mind you, don’t do this in Greece – it means wanker out there). If I can, I shout out of the window with false bonhomie, “thank-you. Appreciate it.”

My 10-year-old son says, “Dad, are you being sarcastic?”

Of course, more times than not that results in ‘the finger’. I mean honestly, if you’re going to be impolite at least use something local, not a gesture stolen from Americans!

Sadly, I don’t know what it is in the Aussie psyche that stops us (well, I mean you) from being friendly on the road.

Yes, all countries have road rage, but lack of manners? I don’t think so.


Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.