WHEN I took my scooter test I failed because I didn’t switch off my indicator light when I’d got round the corner.
In some cars you are aware the indicators are on because until you switch off they make a bleeping sound. I also knew that some motor bikes were fitted with this system. I thought that’s the answer to my problem.
But no, the engineer informed me it wasn’t possible to fit one to my bike now because they were phasing out this beeping device because blind people thought it was the sound of the beeper on crossings.
So this noise caused a problem but now the problem is lack of noise from electric cars.
To combat this they’re thinking of fitting a synthesiser device that sounds like a car petrol engine. This is not a new problem. It goes back to the first silent electric trams.
Then they thought of fitting a device that made the tram sound like a clopping horse. Probably two clockwork coconut shells.
Of course we in Huddersfield had electric trams and later trolley buses, wonderful things.
They could accelerate at an unbelievable rate but I don’t remember a problem with them being silent. I had trouble with them on only two occasions. Once getting on a trolley at Shorehead and having to get off because the bus was live and giving folk electric shocks.
The other time was at the Ritz cinema where Sainsbury’s is now. You got on and off at the rear platform which was completely open. The bus was going slowly past the Ritz where my friends and I were jumping off. I was last to jump by which time the bus was going at a hell of a lick. This meant when I jumped I had to run at the speed of the bus. I managed to slow down and stop at the Cherry Tree corner traffic lights next to the stationary bus I’d just jumped off. The conductor who had been watching me run thought I was trying to catch the bus and said: “You can’t get on here mate, it’s not an official stop.”
If there is a silence problem with vehicles it’s actually been with us a while, not on the road but on the pavement where the silent leg-smasher can sneak up on you. I mean of course these electric trikes. Why aren’t they fitted with a noise device? I’m not suggesting a tinkling bell like the lepers had but something that equally makes you get out of the way.
I recently went to London and survived all the busy traffic until my wife and I narrowly missed being mowed down by the other silent menace, the bicycle.
My bike had a bell but these appear to be uncool today. All bikes should have bells by law, and I think that so should push chairs.
We used to fasten a piece of card to our front bike forks. This poked into the spokes so when you cycled it made a sound like a motor.
Why can’t they make these compulsory? It would even work on an electric car and save a fortune in research.
Anyway, coming home on my scooter one day, an Alsatian dog leapt out at me.
Fortunately it missed me and I missed it. I thought, “That dog’s going to get killed or cause an accident.”
I rang the office of the Dog Warden.
A pleasant lady answered the phone and said the matter would be dealt with.
A week later a chap rang about the incident. I said at the time I thought it was urgent, an accident could have occurred, the dog could have been killed.
I’d travelled the road all week and the dog had gone. Action was needed at the time.
He informed me that it was not a matter for the Dog Warden but a road traffic offence and I should ring the police.
I said: “So if I got attacked by a dog in a cafe it would be a catering offence?”
He seemed to think I was being flippant.