Thursday, 27 December 2012

Flash blue

As you watch this nerdy video clip, how does it affect you? I'm sure nobody is strongly affected one way or the other, but do you detect a slight sense of weariness? Not understandable boredom, but a sense that this is one of the more tedious aspects of modern life? Maybe you don't, but that's how it affects me.

Grandson used to be enthralled by the sight of a blue flashing light and the nee-naa, nee-naa of a police or paramedic siren. Although it isn't nee-naa these days is it? He's not nearly so fascinated now though – it’s too common to be worth more than a passing glance.

What is it about the emergency services? Are there so many emergencies? I don’t recall anything like it when I was Grandson's age, when all we heard was a jangling bell on the front of a black Riley or an ambulance. So what has changed, or have I blotted it from my memory?

My thoughts.

I think certain public services are somewhat more self-important than they used to be. Nothing dramatic you understand – they don’t strut around in high leather boots, wearing a monocle and brandishing a swagger stick. Not in public anyway.

Of course there is a certain practical necessity in getting through the traffic quickly when responding to an emergency. There is no point arguing with that, because if I or a loved one was an accident victim, I'd want rocket-propelled attention.

As always in human affairs though, these things have a less worthy aspect, the one we often don’t care to admit.

What are they like, the people behind the wheel, hurtling along well above a speed limit? After all, these limits are supposedly designed for our safety and we are required to observe them under penalty of the law and the unsympathetic eye of the speed camera. Unsympathetic to us that is - not the emergency services. 

Is it indicative of something, this drive to sweep aside other road users in such a lordly way? Is breaking the speed limit a necessity, a high-handed pleasure or a bit of both, depending as usual, on the individual?

Would it make much difference if they stuck to the speed limit in all cases where there is no police pursuit? Does their behaviour indicate an unhealthy, even oafish tinge to what is supposedly a public service? Is it something we'd do well to address before it gets out of hand?

Or is it far, far too late?


Weekend Yachtsman said...

I'm sure quite a few of them are just late home for their tea, and can't be arsed waiting on the plebs.

A K Haart said...

WY - that's what my wife and I keep saying when yet another one passes us.

Demetrius said...

Lesson, do not live near a busy main road.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - fortunately we live some distance away, but they make such a racket we hear them in the garden and at night when it is quiet.