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Bad driving ... me ???

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  • Bad driving ... me ???

    This is my story, all the way from sunny Canada.

    My wife and I have recently moved into our lovely new house. We've been here since September and we thought everything was going well.

    On our sub-division there are about 100 houses, it's mostly lived in by old and retired people.

    We've been out walking in the sun a few times, and said hi to people. Two or three neighbours came over to introduce themselves to us.

    Being in Canada we have our mail delivered to a central mailbox at the end of our road, about 2 or 3 mins walk away. During the warm weather I have walked to the box to collect the mail, saying hi to the people I see outside.

    Most of the time I get an acknowledgement, but not all the time.

    I'm pretty used to this type of behaviour though, as I am 26 and my wife is 45, so we have been 'looked down' at and 'snubbed' for this before.

    Over the last 4 days however, I have come into the understanding that the local homeowners association is going to be paying me a visit regarding my driving too fast.

    Now, I must shed a little light onto this part of the story. I am English, born and bred, and have learned to drive there. I am used to town driving, 30 mph, kids running out at any time, cyclists and the like. I never cross the side of the road unless I have no other option, i.e. parked car, and I always indicate well before I maneuver.

    Our subdivision has a speed limit of 50km/h. It is generally courteous to drive 40km/h. This translates to 30mph and about 25mph. Nothing too bad there, and I've been quite happily driving approx. 40km/h through my neighbourhood since we moved in.

    The other day, returning home from work, one of my neighbours shouted at me, across the road, from his front garden regarding this. From his rather abrupt and rude comments, I have come to the conclusion that 'some' of my neighbours do not like me driving 40km/h (10km/h below legal speed limit), maybe because they tend to drive 20km/h (about 8-9mph). From his short and rude outburst, I am also under the impression that I have been reported to the police regarding this matter too.

    I should mention here, that driving 40km/h is in no way too fast for the stretches of road that I navigate through the sub-division. If there are kids, or people, I always slow down a lot more. The average driver in this sub-division drives far, far worse than I do. It is rare to see anyone indicate before a maneuver. They tend to cut corners without looking if there is oncoming traffic first. They have at times driven on the wrong side of the road, forcing me to drive on the shoulder (we have very big roads here) to avoid them. If they need to turn into their driveways, they usually cross the other side of the road as they do to get an easy turning circle.

    There are many faster drivers in our neighbourhood also. Since this outburst from my rude neighbour I have spent some time observing the traffic. I have witnessed two drivers, driving what I guage as about 50 - 60km/h (30-40mph) who have driven around the corner where our house is located, cutting the corner, and continuing on the wrong side of the road, for the next corner. Same neighbour who rudely shouted across the road to me, waved happily and smiled at both of these drivers. There are many more who are as bad, or worse.

    Today, I have been informed by a good friend of mine that the homeowners association is going to come and pay me a visit soon regarding this.

    I don't know what to do or think now. I have honestly done nothing wrong, but don't know what to do. My only idea to this problem was that I have a manual gearbox with short gears, and they all drive automatics. My car revs high and quick during first & second before I can shift to third to drive.

    I noticed today that more neighbours do not respond to my hello's.

    I worry a lot about the reports to the police regarding this. Although I have done nothing wrong, and I will never be caught doing something wrong, we all know what the police can be like at times.

    My wife now refuses to go out since this has come to light, as she does not wish to be hassled, or have neighbours smile to her two-facedly.

    I feel that we are being witch-hunted, as there are many far, far, worse drivers. Especially at the allegations of speeding when I keep to the limit.

    Well, I'm a little happier that this is now off my chest, and that the story is shared. The neighbours are cold enough towards us as it is.



  • #2
    Hi Rabbit, welcome to the forum.

    Wow, congratulations on moving to Canada, somewhere I've visited and loved. I have a few questions?

    Re. your neighbours and the driving - do the neighbours have small kids, pets or cars parked in the road?

    Are there any crossing points (erm, like a zebra crossing???) in your street?

    If the answer is no, I am baffled. Though, if you read some of the other postings, it seems that older folk (sorry out there guys) can be a little, er, sensitive to noise, speed, and general day to day life it seems

    I would wait and see what the homeowner association say. It sounds as tho you're doing all you can to minimize speed, noise and possibility of accidents, so point it out to the guy when he comes to see you. It makes folk a lot warmer if you acknowledge their fears and highlight where you are trying to help out.

    Re. the old guy being abusive - he should really know better, Sorry for being flippant, but I would wave at him and smile, its hard for people to be abusive to someone who is friendly.

    I wouldn't jump to any conclusions re. prejudice as yet, since no one has made any reference to your relationship, being British or having a nice car.

    Sometimes its hard for OAPs to accept change in their neighbourhood, as they are used to routine, same faces every day etc. Perhaps they had a fellow retired guy/lady in your house before you bought it, and are still mourning that person's departure. Still, doesn't excuse their behaviour.

    It sounds as tho the situation might be salvaged before deteriorating, why not invite a few neighbours over for an informal BBQ (weather???) or a welcome party. Nothing gets folk together like a shindig!!

    Let us know how you get on!


    • #3
      Hi Rabbit and welcome

      Seems nowhere is free from NFH If I were you I wouldn't worry about the driving. If you are sure you're within the law and driving carefully then there's nothing they can do to you.

      I think you should just wait until the homeowners association turn up - I assume they will be asking for an appointment with you and not just come banging on your door. However, it's possible that they want to see you because they are aware of your rude neighbour and want to reassure you. Anything is possible

      If it is about your driving, tell them, gently but firmly that you drive carefully and observe the speed limits. If they get stroppy, again, gently but firmly, ask if it has anything to do with your marriage to an older woman, or the fact that you are British. My brother has lived in Alberta for the last ten years, he's married to a Canadian, but occassionally he runs into people who are, to put it mildly, anti-British. No matter where you live, if you are an immigrant there will always be people who want to make life difficult for you.

      I would suggest that at all times you keep your tone polite and respectful, especially when telling of instances when you have received only rudeness from others. As Gordytig has said there could be a number of reasons for the rudeness you have received, none of which in my opinion are at all justifiable. You might find that in the end the homeowners association are on your side.

      Good luck and please come back and let us know how you get on

      "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


      • #4
        Thank you all for your supportive posts.

        I do honestly hope that I am over reacting to this. It is discouraging, however, that people have begun to just ignore me when I give them a friendly hello. That suggests to me that this is going to blow up a lot.

        The rude and offensive guy, I overheard him once on his lawn telling someone he was the chairman or so in the homeowners association. This is also very discouraging.

        For gordtjg's questions, there are occaisionally a few cars on the road. When there are I slow right down and manuever past them when I see the way is clear. My wife actually hates this, as it's the done thing here to just jump on the other side of the road to pass and kind of hope that there is no oncoming traffic.

        As for pets, I have seen two people with dogs. One lady always keeps hers on a lead, the other I have only ever seen in someones yard. If I see pets or people, again I slow down and give them plenty of space as I pass.

        There is only one lady with small kids in here, and again I always slow near her house, more so if I see her little one's as I know they can easily run into the road.

        We have no crossings of any sort in this sub-division.

        I have been to the police stations, and had it confirmed for me about the speed limit, and what would constitute dangerous driving. Legally, I am okay.

        My friend who informed me H/A's where coming also mentioned that they are pedantic. They may never let this rest. He does a lot of work for the residents, so knows them and sees them often.

        He also informed me of a small incident that happened to him. My other neighbours, directly opposite me, reversed out of their driveway into the side of his trucking, denting it quite badly. He watched as they drove back up the driveway, and proceeded to thoroughly wash all traces of paintwork off. When he asked them about it, and the washing, they told him his truck was junk and that they would deny it ever happened .... this they did.

        It just strikes me as odd how these people are going to great lengths with me, and nobody else. With the homeowners association going to pay me a visit, this has already bypassed the 'friendly word' stage that usually comes first. My wife also knows one person who lives in here who has been hassled about trivial points, who told her not to even bother with the neighbours as they are bad like this.

        Hopefully they will come soon and I can see where this is all leading. When they do show up, I am also going to invite them in for tea and cake, hopefully that will help diffuse the situation.

        THanks again,



        • #5
          Hi Rabbit and welcome to the Forum

          I can only echo what the other members have said. If you are driving within the legal limits, and are a courteous driver, what more can you do?

          I might be inclined to pre-empt any visit by the Homeowners Association by contacting them to discuss any concerns you may have. Do you have anything like "Residents Meetings" where issues are raised?

          Please tell your wife to be strong through this, she can't put her life on hold because of the behaviour and attitude of a few. One thing that people have found useful is putting on a pair of sunglasses, standing proud and walking tall.

          Wishing you all the best.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rabbit@May 21 2003, 3:30 AM

            My car revs high and quick during first & second before I can shift to third to drive.
            Hello Rabbit, lucky you escaping to Canada!

            I have a feeling what you said about your engine revving high is probably causing the problem. You say you are driving at below the speed limit but are you perhaps accelerating hard to get there? It sounds to me like your elderly neighbours may have a gripe about the harshness of your engine rather than your speed. If they hear a fast, high gear change it just gives the impression of speed where that may not be the case.

            It sounds to me like you actually live in a very respectful neighbourhood (although the manner in which they are dealing with you could be better approached). They obviously want to keep the roads quiet which really, if you think about it, is a good thing.

            I would be polite and courteous. Explain your position and that you're not speeding but, if it's the noise that's causing the problem, to try and accelerate slower to minimise this. You're obviously a considerate person anyway and your area sounds lovely. Surrounded by nice, quiet elderlys! I would make the sacrifice for the sake of peace



            • #7
              Reading through your post, I a agre fully that you are being treated unjustly here. As for solutions, I see Misty gives some excellent advice here,

              I would suggest that at all times you keep your tone polite and respectful, especially when telling of instances when you have received only rudeness from others. As Gordytig has said there could be a number of reasons for the rudeness you have received, none of which in my opinion are at all justifiable. You might find that in the end the homeowners association are on your side.[/b]

              One thing I might add. Adults can be very childlike sometimes. Do you ever remember from childhood days, not getting due respect until you stand up yourself? Perhaps a meeting with the Homeowners Association might be a good opportunity for you to put accross your viewpoint. 'Picking on the new kid' was a thing that the more insecure, less popular kids, did - as I recall.

              I hope you can find, and build, some friendships in this neighbourhood, which would help dissipate this problem, I feel.

              Good Luck!


              • #8
                PS: Rabbit, just read your second post (posted whilst I was writing mine). Obviously more to this than meets the eye ...?


                • #9

                  I was writing my post when your 2nd one appeared.

                  Sounds like there's some right twits near you. Don't let them get to you (easier said than done), but this h / a bunch sound best ignored. I'm sure the decent folk outnumber the twits - unfortunately this latter lot often have little else to do, and are often more active in unpleasant areas.


                  • #10
                    Hi Rabbit, Lucky you living in Canada. I can only commiserate with your plight, and I thought jobworth's only lived in Britain. I think you are being very resonable and your NFH have too much time on their hands and you are an easy target.

                    We don't want to lose you from the forum but is there no NFH website in Canada, anyway keep us posted and good luck.

                    Don't look a grizzly bear in the eye when you're eating fish 'n' chips.