Public Service Announcement – What does NeeNaw NeeNaw + Flashing Blue Lights Mean?

Public Service Announcement

I feel that some assistance may be needed among my fellow drivers in identifying the strange flashing blue lights, often accompanied by a strange siren like noise that you occasionally spot while driving. And more importantly the correct way to react in these situations.

When you see the lights or hear the siren do not panic, you are not about to be attacked by aliens or some mythical creature. All that is happening is an emergency vehicle (Ambulance, Fire-engine, Police Car, etc.) has been called to an emergency and is passing close to you in its route. There is nothing to fear.

The correct response is to “Safely” pull over to the side of the road if needed to allow the vehicle past you. Remember time is of the essence, so they need to get to the emergency A.S.A.P. to possibly save lives. So as long as it is safe do what you can to allow the speedy process of the vehicle. Its as simple as that.

Here ends the Public Service Announcement.

And I will recount the instance that has prompted this post. It happened today on my way home from work. I was traveling along the road and had come to a crossroads. The lights were on for cars joining the road from a side road, only those turning right had come to a stop due to lights further down the road. It was at this point I heard the sirens of an Ambulance travelling towards me. As it got nearer and was about to pass the junction a large Van decided it was not waiting for space and pulled out to turn right even though there was no space, so it was on the “Yellow Box” which in UK road laws you are not allowed to enter unless your exit is clear. Worse than that, as it was a large van, and at an angle it completely blocked the junction forcing the Ambulance to come to a stop, and wait for all the other cars to move and mount pavements so the van could go on its way freeing up the junction for the Ambulance. Hopefully the delayed arrival time did not make the difference between life&death. It did make me wish a little maliciously that it was heading to the home of the van driver.

When is a simple task not a simple task….

Last Friday it was pointed out to me that the sidelight on the drivers side was not working on my car. Now changing the bulbs on a car is a simple task so I pencilled in doing some maintenance at the weekend.

So Saturday afternoon I pop the hood and look at the back of the light fitting to see what kind of bulb I need. Imagine my surprise when I realised the lamp I wanted was behind a bit of metal chassis. OK. Not to worry, I have the owners manual so I’ll check what they say about bulb replacement.

The entry for side lights & indicators was simply “For this task we suggest taking the vehicle to your supplier for them to deal with” WTF?? Since when has replacing a simple sidelight bulb needed the vehicle dealers to do? Pah at them.

So I take a look to see how big a job it is to gain access to the bulb. Right. to gain access to the back of the lighting unit you have to remove the lighting unit. So far so simple. Only the lighting unit is behind the front grill & bodywork. So you have to remove the front of the car to get at the lighting unit, to remove the lighting unit to gain access to the lamp to simply unplug it, and plug a new one in.

How fraking stupid is that design ?

Several hours of major mechanical work just to get access to a 30 second maintenance job.

Needless to say, my side light is still not working.

Missing: General Common Sense.

There are times when I really despair for the Human Race. When I see acts of such stupidity, or people not using the most basic of common sense, and I have to ask myself “Can we survive as the dominant species here on earth” This morning, on my normal commute to the Insane Asylum was one such moment. Let me share with you dear reader.

Part of my route is currently impeded by traffic light controlled road works.  They have been there for a few months now, slowly working their way along.  It was scary for a while as the light was just behind a speed camera, so when you saw the lights turn AMBER and you were tempted to speed up a bit to catch them before they turned RED you would be speeding into a speed trap. Anyway it currently cover’s a large stretch of road, the length of which is down to single lane.

So driving along and I get stuck behind several cars waiting at the red light, while traffic coming from the other direction get to go. After a while the traffic flow stops, and the lights change to GREEN, so we then proceed to continue our trip. Only half way through the traffic controlled area we are forced to stop by the Bin Wagon parked in front of us blocking the road as bin men load up the bins.

behind the bin wagon are all the other cars that had driven through the GREEN light and had got stuck when the wagon stopped. And now you had another long train of vehicles stopped in front of the wagon.  So the single lane of traffic was now blocked by dozens of vehicles trying to dive opposite ways.

Ah.. I know what you are all thinking, and what that guy there is actually saying loudly at the computer screen. Yes YOU. I can see and hear you, Nope, theres no use looking for the hidden camera, you’ll never find it.  You are thinking. “But its their job to collect the bins, there’s not much they could do about it?

I would agree in principle with you apart from an extra fact I have not imparted to you yet, and that is the bus stop lay-by that was a hundred yards behind the wagon. If they had any common sense and thought, “the lights will change soon and traffic will start coming from the other direction and we will all get stuck!” then they would have pulled their wagon off the road into the bus stop area, letting the cars behind them past, and then the oncoming traffic past until they had collected the bins, and traffic was agin flowing in their direction and they could join it without hassle.

But NO. instead they caused chaos. and dozens of drivers had to play the worlds largest game of tetris with their vehicles, and the binmen had to drive onto the roadworks. It was chaos and people were stuck for a lot longer than they needed to be, all for the sake of some common sense.

P.S. This is not a dig at bin men & women, they do a fantastic job and do not get the thanks they deserve, its a dig at the stupidity of people in general.

And Now for Something Completely Different

Time seems to be flowing a lot faster than normal these days, I swear I only have to blink and several days have flown past. For example I was considering writing this post Monday, I blinked, made myself a cup of Coffee and its now Thursday Friday? Anyway, here goes the actual post :-

Its been a few years now since I have done a “what I did the Weekend” style post. And I’m feeling nostalgic for reasons you will discover by the time you finish reading this post, so here goes for old time sake.

What I did The Weekend.


Sometimes the World Works….

I’d just like to share this motivational story you with Dear Reader, It really made my day and its good to see that sometimes stupidity gets its just deserts.It happened last night on my commute home.

I was driving along some country roads, just coming out of a nasty bend heading for a nice long straight bit. There was no traffic in front of me, and just a motorbike in the oncoming lane a short distance ahead. Just as I was getting to a junction on the right, a car pulled out of the junction directly in front of the motorbike.

Judging by the smug look on the drivers face he had seen the bike and decided he could pull out in front, or that it was just a bike so it would swerve. The poor biker had to jam his breaks on and the bike started swerving and juddering as you would expect from a near emergency stop at speed. I think a lesser driver could well have come off the bike.

Just as I was cursing the stupid car driver, and muttering the “there’s never a cop about when you need one” The bike managed to sort itself out, and started accelerating after the car, with some hidden blue lights starting to flash in the fairing… Yes!!! it was an unmarked police bike, and I wish I could have been there when he pulled the car over.

Sometimes, the world works!…


Sisyphean Roadworks

On my way home last night I saw something that made me do a double take, and was such a bizarre concept that I felt I had to share it with you.

Part of my daily commute currently passes “Mobile Repairs“. And No before you ask, that does not mean they repair mobile phone. I stopped and asked, and the captain threw a hammer at my head.

Basically they are working their way along the road repairing the millions of potholes that are currently infecting the UK’s road system. To keep themselves safe while working that have temporary traffic lights and cones set up. (Health and Safety and all that)

So as I was driving home last night I happened to catch the strange creatures that actually set up and move these lights and cones. Now you are probably wondering how does Health & Safety cover the removal of Temporary lights and traffic cones on a busy road?

Well that’s simple, They had put up Temporary Lights slightly further out from the temporary lights to keep them safe as they packed away the first lot of lights.  So the question is, do they then have to put up more Temporary Lights to be able to remove the Temporary Lights they places to be able to remove the Original Lights? Also. if they keep placing the new lights slightly forward of the old lights will the eventually be so far apart they cover a whole country?