AM I the only one to notice that driver behaviour and manners in Taunton, and across the country, seem to me to be at an all time low?

In a week when a chief constable has proposed more rigorous enforcement of speeding laws, I can’t help but feel that far more serious transgressions occur, usually without any form of penalty.

I accept that (inappropriate) speed is a major road safety issue but the new cult of aggressive, impatient, intimidating driving seems to be the norm, and largely ignored by law enforcement.

As a driver with enormous business mileage accumulated over40 years, I do not claim to be anything approaching a perfect driver, but I do try my best.

Many drivers simply now ignore common traffic rules and laws, and aggression seems to be the norm. It’s unfortunately apparent that a high proportion of drivers of certain northern European car brands (which I shall not name, but you know who you are) seem to drive to a completely different set of rules to the rest of us.

To make eye contact with another driver often risks abuse, a challenge or a race to be in front. Where has this behaviour come from?

If I observe the speed limit of 30mph on the new Northern Inner Distributor Road, I’ve frequently been tailgated and given clear (usually offensive) signals to speed up.

I am by no means a slow driver and use all the power and speed available to me where and when appropriate, but clearly others have a different view of suitable town and urban driving speeds.

The virtually complete lack of necessary indication is appalling. Over-indication is regarded as a fault, but better that than no indication at all.

Simply use or stand by the roundabout where the NIDR connects with Priory Bridge Road and you’ll see that probably less than one in four drivers indicate correctly, if at all. 

This is similar at the very busy Wickes roundabout and how numerous collisions and accidents are avoided escapes me, perhaps we are all becoming psychic or developing a sixth sense. Perhaps these particular European car brands lack an indicator stalk!

Young drivers are not the main culprits, the introduction by insurers of the black Telematics boxes for young drivers has had a marked effect on their driving behaviour. 

A driving licence is a privilege, not a right, and the police and authorities must do more to uphold and enforce higher standards.

I realise that all these issues are not exclusive to Taunton, but our town certainly provides a snapshot of a far wider driver standard problem.

And don’t get me started on mobile phone use, tractor drivers, errant (never at fault) cyclists!

Bishop’s Hull