The very first time road rage invaded my innocent thought process was when an elderly friend of my parents had a bit of an accident one day years ago.
He had been in Castleisland doing bits of this and that and he had a couple of mediums of porter before taking the few hundred yards drive home out the Scart Road.
He was just about to turn right and into his house when he got a tip on the rear and side from a car which had just attempted to overtake him.
The door of his Morris Minor was stiff after the ‘tip’ and he was a bit edgy after finally getting out to confront the other party.
The rights and wrongs of the predicament were to-ing and fro-ing in a civil enough manner until the man who hit our friend (a commercial traveller from Dublin) said: ‘But you never put on your indicator.’
Our friend was incredulous at this and indignantly replied: ‘An indicator ! – and I going in my own gate !
I thought of him as I was standing at Fahaduff Cross on Thursday morning with a community of concerned parents with their Curranes National School-going children and representatives of local businesses.
They have been running the gauntlet of crossing the motorway which feeds and comes off the Castleisland bypass. And they have been doing so in recent weeks without the safety of the road-markings which indicated that a T-junction lay ahead.
They also discovered at the weekend that all such road markings throughout Ireland are being scrubbed from the roads.
This is new policy and comes about as a result of a brainstorming session and it has now formed part of national guidelines which all local authorities are obliged to follow.
It seems this way of thinking is new only in Ireland. A Dutch engineer piloted the idea in the 1990s that a ‘naked street / road’ policy would de-clutter streets of signs and roads of markings.
This, he claimed, would put the safety and welfare of road users back into their own hands by raising awareness levels of personal safety.
It also seems that it has been working in terms of a reduction in accident statistics.
Now the shift in policy has reached Fahaduff Cross and it has made the residents of Fahaduff cross.
“Everybody is in shock with the latest update on the arrows not been replaced on the main Limerick Road,” said the local, action group organiser and spokesperson, Denise Horan.
“Speechless describes us all. But we are not accepting this decision as it’s ridiculous putting the lives of people in unnecessary danger.
“I though we where moving up in the world of road safety, we can not practice road safety if the road which we drive day in day out is not correctly laid out in the first place.
“Three big businesses, local residents and a national school rely on this turn off that no longer exists as far as road markings are concerned.
“It’s an accident waiting to happen. Will it take somebody’s life for the penny to drop that a turn off lane is needed at Fahaduff Cross,” Denise asked.
Mick Galwey Roundabout
It may be a safety valve in this potential row, but the Mick Galwey Roundabout is just a minute on the Castleisland side of the junction at Fahaduff. There’s no cross at Fahaduff. There’s a T junction – but it has been known as Fahaduff Cross for too many generations now.
The speed and volume of traffic at this point is truly frightening these days.
I thought it just as well that our long gone, family friend and his little black Morris Minor belonged to and left an era of relative calm in spite of his one paint-scratching crash in the mid 1960s.
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