Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
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Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 12.04.02
Quebec City


Quebec's worst drivers are...

I did an unofficial survey this week. And like the people at Leger and Leger pollsters, let me make it very clear this poll is accurate two times out of twenty with an error factor of plus or minus ninety.

On a good day.

What I did was compile a list of the worst drivers I encounter on the highways on a regular basis. You see, with close observation, I've come to some rather telling conclusions.

Now, just so we avoid tying up our talk back line for the next two years, these conclusions are not based on any scientific evidence. So. If you recognize yourself, let me say it's just like the best works of fiction and that any resemblance to a person or persons either living or dead is just coincidental.

On the top of my list for the worst drivers in Quebec are young women between the ages of 18 and 25 driving anything the size of a Toyota Echo or smaller. It's as if they were all named Chekov and Captain Kirk told them to hit warp speed and I'm a Klingon vessel standing between them and safety.

The next great offender is anyone driving a van. For some reason van drivers -- men or women -- seem to think the speed limit is about ten kilometres faster than anyone immediately in front of them is doing.

Likewise, for anyone with a ski rack on the car. It doesn't matter what make the car is, Volvo or Lada, if there is a ski rack on the top or the back of the car they're the highway equivalent of Eval Kineval. I don't want to count the number of times that Steve Podborski's Quebec cousin has roared past me, only to cut me off in order to take the next exit a hundred yards later.

Into this mix you have to add the teenage Quebec male -- which is not so much an age as a state of mind. This includes pretty well any male between the ages of 16 and 65 who drives anything from a Chevette to a Lincoln Town Car.

The governing factor here is not age. It's that his favorite actor is Steve McQueen and his favorite movie Bullet.

That means it's perfectly acceptable to pass on the left, pass on the right, coast through stop signs, use the yellow light as an indication to speed up to beat the red, and to translate 'yield' as 'merge.'

Lest you think I've overlooked someone, just let me say that the majority of eighteen wheelers I encounter have good drivers. It's their life's work, after all. The exception are the double-clutching twits who get so close to you that you can count the flies on their grill in your rear view mirror.

Anyway, as I said earlier, an Angus Reed or Crop pollster, I'm not. But if the wheel fits . . .