I sat there, going nowhere fast.
A motorway, designed for three lanes of fast flowing traffic, stopped still. Because of an idiot.
Somewhere in the distance, many suburbs away, there had been an accident. Yet another one. We were stuck. Thousands of us. All with somewhere to go.
I was on the way to meet an old mate. Holidaying on the Gold Coast, my friend was keen for a punt and a chat. He was in for a long wait.
I looked around me. Everyone with their own stories. Mum taking kids to footy finals. Others heading to dance concerts.
Trips to the beach. Tradies on their way to weekend jobs. Giving up time with the family, to make a few extra bob. Not at this rate.
The hi-tech flashing sign at the side of the road had no sympathy for us. Only the facts. ACCIDENT AHEAD. TWO LANES CLOSED. EXPECT LONG DELAYS
We all let out a collective groan. In the world of Traffic Management, LONG DELAYS is about as bad as it gets.
I fiddled the radio, hoping to find a traffic report. Races, footy, music. Not the information I needed.
Finally, a young man on a groovy FM station came to the party. Traffic and surf at the top of the hour. No doubt carefully prepared, in full knowledge that we were hanging on his every word.
Or not. His report lasted all of 14 seconds. ‘A nightmare on the M1. Avoid it if you can.’
Thanks so much Sherlock. Although it must be said his wide-ranging report on what Burleigh Point was doing was most helpful.
We started moving, ever so slowly. That one open lane was having an impact. But with movement, came impatience.
The lane-changers got to work. From left, to right, and back again. Looking for the fast track. The better going. As we crawled.
What’s the point? Do they really think they’re going to find an opening we haven’t spotted?
We pass a woman who’s having worse luck that the rest of us. Smoke billowing from her engine. Her old beast, off the road, has had enough. She has a face like thunder.
It takes close to fifty minutes, from start to end of the traffic jam. So long, the offending vehicles have already been moved on. Not even a tow truck. Somehow, it makes it all the more annoying. We want someone to glare at.
How do people crash on straight, well-built motorways? There are no obstacles to dodge. No sharp bends. Not a dangerous intersection to be found.
Let me answer my own question. They crash, because they’re stupid. Driving too fast. Tailgating. Swerving through traffic. Texting at 100 ks.
Someone is at fault. And I want them to pay.
Maybe put their picture up on one of those annoying roadside signs. Large as life, for all to see. Instead of LONG DELAYS, they could use the caption BLOODY IDIOT. That would make us all feel better.
I’ll even turn up to take the photos. Once I get through this bloody traffic.