Sunday 3 March 2013

Chelsea Tractors

"5 year old male hit by car, injuries unknown"

3:30pm. The school run. My money is on a careless driver not watching where they are going and a little kid has paid the price for it. We got about 100 yards from the location given and it clear that it was a school. There was queue of cars obviously stopped because of the incident who were blocking our path to the patient. I'd say at least 50% of said cars were Chelsea Tractors. For those unaware of the term here are some Urban Dictionary ones:

1) Chelsea Tractor 
Any expensive 4x4 that is driven in an urban environment as a status symbol (typically for the school run) and will never be driven off-road.

2) Chelsea Tractor 
An off-road car that never goes off-road

3) Chelsea tractor Noun, a large 4 wheel drive vehicle, driven in cities for ordinary, day to day purposes. eg, Land Rover, BMX X5, etc..

Typically, they are driven by mums for the school run.......because everyone needs a Land Rover Defender to drive half a mile to school to pick up their 1 child. Nothing winds me up more. It's bad enough that they have them, but they can't even drive them! Here we are, blue lights and sirens and they all panic! When faced with an ambulance there are some options available. 

a) Pull over to the left allowing us to pass on the wrong side of the road.

b) Keep going and pull into one of the spaces or the bus stop.

c) Stop diagonally across the entire road preventing any traffic from moving in any direction.

Yes. You guessed it. c) was by far the most appealing option! Though some did try b) but the parking sensors clearly weren't up to scratch. Why have a car you can't drive?! Thanks to one particular owner of a BMW X5 we had to abandon the ambulance and walk with all of the kit we could carry. I glared at the owner and received:

"What do you fuckin' expect me to do?"

Nice, in front of her child too. That kid will have a mouth like a toilet by the age of 7! It'll probably have it's its own petrol guzzler too! 

Eventually we got to our patient. Shock horror, he'd been hit by a 4 x 4. Luckily it was low speed and he had no injuries. The car had reversed and I quote:

"It's not my fault, the reversing alarm didn't go off, they shouldn't have been crossing behind me."

No, you are quite right. It's totally their fault. Crossing at the yellow zig-zags where cars are not allowed to stop, outside a school is just bad parenting. They should be punished for that. The Range Rover Overfinch comes with plausible deniability when it comes to bad driving. I forgot. As for the reversing sensors, right again. Mirrors and awareness of surrounding are so last year! I suppose being so high up in a car means short people should be more vigilant when crossing roads. This child certainly has no right to an apology. Stupid child. Stupid mother for crossing the road at a crossing. I'd call social services if I was you. It's verging on neglect isn't it?! 

ARE       YOU       SERIOUS?!

You are blaming the child for your incompetence?! The child you just reversed into? I really had to bite my tongue! Am I alone in my hatred for these cars in urban areas? Why does everyone flock to them? Why are they so popular? And why are they all driven by women who can't drive? Can I just add, before I get mobbed by feminists for saying 'women can't drive', anyone who relies on parking sensors and reversing alarms / cameras to park a car CANNOT drive. There is absolutely no need to them in built up areas. Fine, if you live in the country and have to drive up steep mud tracks to get to school then fine, but these cars have never seen a mud, let alone a hill. What happened to walking? Most of these people live within a mile of the school! That's how catchment areas work! WALK! No wonder all your kids are fat. Bit harsh. I know. I semi-retract that last comment!

So, here is a car buying guide for anyone considering a 4 x 4 for the school run:

Will you be driving on terrain like this?

Will you be driving up hill like this?

If you answered 'NO' to either of those questions then you DON'T need one of these.....

Will you be driving down roads like this?

Will you be sat in traffic like this?

If you answered 'YES' to either question you don't need one of these......

What you need is a new pair of shoes at best! FACT! 

Seriously, there is no need for them. It is just a status symbol. Nothing more, nothing less. They are bad for the environment, bad for the roads, bad for traffic, bad for people hit by them and badly driven. This child was very lucky. Most kids who are hit by them are not. If you have to drive match the car to your needs, not your wallet. Anyway, got to go, got to walk to the school.....


  1. My mum has my car (I don't drive and its a DLA car) it is a VW Transporter, we have to drive to my daughters school as it is over 3 miles away. Not once has there been a near miss and the back window is higher than average. There is no rear sensor, no parking helpers and no alarms, yet not once have we even come close to hitting a child.

    BUT the self absorbed in their Chelsea Tractors and the self absorbed in their teeny cars and the self absorbed in their regular sized cars are frankly awful. You get two lots of drivers at my daughter school, ones who know the rules of driving by schools and those that don't. The latter is by far the most prevelant. So much so that the community police visit every friday to talk about bad driving!

    1. I think there should be huge fines for stopping on the yellow lines and it must be enforced!

    2. Unfortunately as the law stands most of the yellow zig-zags (around my area anyhow) are advisory, they can only be enforced if there's a plate stating the times/days the lines are enforceable. In my previous job I would spend hours trying to educate parents that by stopping on the lines it makes the entire road dangerous for everyone else, unfortunately it appears that people don't care so long as their precious darlings don't have to walk more than 10 yards...

  2. Well said! We have some idiotic 4x4 drivers (we are in Richmond, SW London - clearly serious 4x4 terrain here!) and I have seen some "near misses" that if they hadn't been misses would have been pretty serious. I have yelled at one or two drivers who have been "driving" these tanks (I say driving loosely - they aren't very good) who have nearly caused accidents! Can I share this on my FB page?

  3. I drive my daughter to school every day, I park across from the school entrance and I have seen people stop in the middle of the road and drop their child off straight into the road or they pull up onto the yellow zig zags and the child gets out into on coming traffic. It never fails to amaze me the risks people take with their kids all for the sake of 5 minutes to actually park properly and get out of the car and take their child into school. People are lazy fuckers. And as for 4x4's people who drive those things are wankers and think they rule the road!!

  4. Why do people need giant cars for kids anyway? Growing up my Mum used to ferry my brother and me plus friends around in a Vauxhall Nova. And we lived in the countryside and would regularly be found at Scout camps, football matches or cross-country running events all of which take place in muddy fields. The Nova coped admirably.
    Being a woman driver who is able to reverse park and parallel park I feel qualified to complain about those of either sex who cannot do it - it's really quite straightforward. Yes, I've had extra driver training as I'm a Police Officer, but I'd been driving for 7 years before I joined the Police and was able to reverse park with ease before I even passed my test.
    In my opinion if you can't park it, you shouldn't drive it.

  5. My daughter is one of only 2 kids who I know walk into school. We live 5 minutes walk from the school, nearly all the others live at least a mile away but luckily they all leave the yellow zig-zag marked area clear (possibly because the school gave parents a vigorous telling off letter a couple of years ago). However, this may also have something to do with the occasional presence of police & pcsos near the school gates although generally they are there to get all the sods that use that road as a high speed rat run cos of the lack of speed bumps to slow down.

  6. It annoys me so much, I've taught my son (10 and visually impaired) to always cross at crossings and to make sure that traffic has stopped before he steps out, all good until you get one of these lovely people mentioned above decide they want to drive along the pavement instead of patiently waiting while the car infront of them turned right, pulled him out the way just in time. Mak

  7. Great post as always, thank you for highlighting this problem (all cars/drivers included)
    It's not always much fun being a lollipop with idiots like these around either.
    hey ho.
    Stay safe out there.

  8. I drive a minivan (amd am alsi in the us) that has a back up camera. i love it to help me check. that doesbt stop me from viewing all my surroundings. It's meant as an aid not as you're only means... did these people never have driving lessons? poor kid hope he's ok.

  9. Completely not relevant to your fan-tast-iche as always, blog but I thought of you today, christ knows why! but anyway... thought you lot may appreciate....

    I got told, 'I've had an Apparition for my heart beat. It wasn't successful. I might have another Apparition soon.'

  10. Nightmare! hate those big things
    Mind, don't get the Defender mixed up with the Freelander or Discovery. The Defender is much more the proper workhorse and a vehicle i hope to own soon (and utilse off-road and/or on green lanes) Of course, i don't live in the middle of the urban jungle.
    It's these kind of people which leave the government to believe we need wrapping in cotton wool. Common sense? pah who needs that. Gadgets save lives... NOT!
    I am relieved wee laddie is okay.
    I live near a primary and the most dangerous people passing the school are the parents not the local residents.

  11. Why were the police not called to this PI RTC? Should have ticketed the driver for Careless Driving.

  12. I'm in the US and drive an SUV. I have two teens and my husband I drive around.
    People here think with their 4x4s they are God when it comes to driving in the snow. They don't slow down much. They hurry off at lights, never thinking that with the snow and ice the oncoming traffic may not be able to stop in time.
    I had a van, until it died. Then fell in love with this SUV. I needed something that can go off road when we want, that can tow our trailer for camping, or that can haul stuff for tent camping.
    I hate the gas mileage, it sucks, but I do love the versatility of it.
    4 yrs ago I got it in June. In December we ended up with nearly 5ft of snow. I didn't miss one day of work due to that, an awesome SUV and 4x4.
    Oh, I'm also guilty of taking a kid to school when it's less than a mile away...its up hill with no side walks and cara coming down it in the snow frequently go off the road. As well as she has bad asthma and the cold triggers attacks in her.

  13. 18 months back I was in an RTC, mercifully my 1800kg vehicle, protected me, not a 4x4 but a hefty ford.
    My main role in life was to protect my family, in a RTC between a 700kg city car, and a hefty SUV / People Carrier I wanted my kids to be in the big wagon. And yes I can drive, MOD trained, and I love my sensors that will pick up things lower than my windows level.

  14. A controversial topic but I agree with the vast majority of your points. People should still be able to drive our vehicles. We shouldn't rely on sensors and we need to be hyper-aware of our surroundings when driving around schools.

    And don't get me started on parking at schools...

    Congrats on your MADs finalist status. I'll see you there!

  15. I had heard that the BMW X5 has got a really sophisticated Sat Nav system that automatically dials BMW, who void your warranty if you go off-road!

  16. When I got back into the driver's seat, I asked the driving teacher if any of his students had gotten into accidents and he said no. I was sure I was going to be the first.

  17. Totally agreed, Chelsea Tractors, in fact most cars used on the school runs under a mile are a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The roads are dangerous, so lets all drive! I generally walk or ride a bike, there are plenty of parents living the same half a mile away who drive their kids in their XC90. I got a lift in one once and it rids you of all possible knowledge of the outside world, you could be doing twice the speed limit, squash most living things and not even notice. I'd far rather experience the world from my bike or walk. By the way I do stop at red lights, but I also use primary position quite alot at junctions to prevent drivers overtaking me and forcing me into the back of a parked car.
    The NHS we pay for is actually subsidising bad drivers, well all drivers, in fact. The emissions tax called VEN, not road tax as some people still think of it, doesn't come close to paying for the NHS trauma units and magistrates courts we pay for. Then there's the long term damage done to kids - the unhappiest in Europe, apparently, who see the world from the back of these things.

    So yes, I get your frustration. Not sure, short of shooting Jeb Clarkson and using creative road blocking so you can't drive through the centre of any place like they do in Holland, will change this. Instead they prefer to drive kids to a wood once a week, stick a Hi-viz tabbard on them and call it Forest School.


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