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Why do people in England make such a fuss over a little bit of snow?

 
 
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 07:08 am
Here in England when it snows everything seems to grind to a halt, trains, buses, cars etc. The media goes mental over a little bit of snow, and I know that it is more of a problem over here as we are not used to it. But other countries deal with it every day.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 4,047 • Replies: 23
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 07:20 am
@MatthewB7621,
Americans can go mental too, depends on the part of the country.

I grew up in Minnesota and snow is really not a big deal. Everyone learns how to drive in it, they usually have special snow tires, there is a vast army of snow plows, etc., etc.

Every other place I've lived (several US states plus England for a bit) hasn't been as prepared and freaks out a bit more, approximately in proportion to how rarely they have to deal with it. Which makes sense, really.
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 07:26 am
@sozobe,
Yes, England and other places that rarely recieve snow are ill prepared for it. The thing that annoys me is that all I ever here on the news is about how London (which is where I live) might get 2cm or even less of snow. And headlines such as "The big freeze", hardly is it a big freeze.
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 07:45 am
I was once in Oklahoma in the winter. It snowed about three inches. Every school and government office building for fifty miles around was closed.

I giggled about that, until I realized that in those years (early '80's) there were no all weather tires. If you lived in a snowy area, you changed your tires to snow tires, before the first flake fell. They never changed tires in Oklahoma.

Believe me it was no fun slippin' and slidin' in three inches of snow on regular tires!
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 07:52 am
@Phoenix32890,
Over here it is a miracle and a disaster if we get 2cm of snow.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 08:04 am
I love it! Although I did go up into the hills yesterday to walk and take pictures and I almost got myself stuck - I have good tires and everything - but you know - they don't plow the roads up there.
To be fair - I don't know if a snow plough could make it up this hill - it's rather steep and very narrow. So anyway, I'm always alright driving up a hill in the snow, but I hate driving down steep hills on snow and ice, so I figured I'd drive up, go out the top and take the big road down, but the small road was impassable past where I parked to walk, so I had to drive back down.
Even though I've lived in Maine and upstate New York and driven in snow and ice since I learned to drive - I was white-knuckled - I'll tell you that much. And happy to get down alive.

But I don't get why cities have to shut down. Can't everyone just put on their boots and walk to the shops and stuff?
Although if the trucks (lorries) can't get through- I guess there's nothing to stock the shelves with for people to buy when they get there.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 08:08 am
@Phoenix32890,
I remember when we moved to North Carolina from Maine and it snowed one day and we needed something, so I got the kids in the car and I was thinking, 'Hmm, nobody's out and about - these roads are pretty empty,' and then we got to the store which was supposed to be open 24/7 and it was shut!

We were shocked! I mean, if stores and restaurants and stuff like that shut up north every time it snowed - they'd go out of business.

My mother, who's a native Texan used to call me every time it snowed in Maine and say, 'I saw on the news that it snowed up there. Just stay home - don't go anywhere - I don't want you to have an accident.'
I told her, 'Mom, if I stayed home every time it snowed - I wouldn't leave the house for six months.'

But it is nice to have to walk every where for a change of pace for a few days. I enjoy the different rhythmn to life that a snowstorm brings.
0 Replies
 
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 08:08 am
@aidan,
Exactly, here they're telling people to only make car journey's if it is an emergency. One time on the news it said not to go out at all. Fair enough for people in Scotland, but it shouldn't apply to people in London, where there is the smallest amount of snow.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 08:13 am
@MatthewB7621,
Well, the thing you have to worry about with people driving in the snow is not so much your own driving, assuming you know what you're doing - it's the people who haven't got a clue.
The one time I did get hit by another car in a snowstorm was when this seventeen or eighteen year old kid came careening around a corner and slid on the ice into my car which was stopped at a stop sign on the other side of the intersection.
I could see as he came around the corner that he was going too fast - and yep - he slid right into the front of my car.
Nobody was hurt - but I hope he learned his lesson and slowed down on the snow and ice after that.
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 08:25 am
@aidan,
I am a young driver, but I am very careful. As I don't want to raise the price of my insurance through havingany kind of accident. It is the racer boy drivers who give young drivers as a whole a bad name.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 08:29 am
@MatthewB7621,
Yeah - that's true. Actually, over here they really put a person through his/her paces before they hand out driving licenses.
In America - you practically just show up for the test- and you get your license. Here, you really have to show that you know what you're doing.

And in terms of speeding - let me tell you - they don't play games. You get twelve points - that's 4 speeding tickets - and you might only be going a few miles over the limit - and your license is gone for six months...it's a whole different ball game over here.
I know I'm a HELL of a lot more careful about my speed over here than I ever was in America.
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 08:34 am
@aidan,
The places people get caught most often are those long often empty roads restricted to 30. It's just one of those things that we all do; go faster when there is no one in front. By my local hospital the limit is 20mph down a sort of main road. Alot of people including my mum once go down it at around 40. They all get fined. Think it's something like £80. Hospitals and schools are two of the most common places to get caught.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 08:44 am
Yeah, when I first moved here and I didn't know where any of the speed cameras were, every time I turned around I was getting a ticket. I had to go to speed school so I wouldn't lose my license.
But actually, it was a good thing I did because I learned how the whole system works.
See, in America - you KNOW you're getting a ticket because the cop stops you and hands it to you. It also gives you the opportunity to talk him/her out of it and a lot of times they let you go with a warning.
But here, if you don't know where the cameras are - and you're going even eight miles over the limit - not even ten - you just obliviously keep driving and then suddenly you get notice in the post that you were caught on camera speeding.
The first three times, I didn't even know where the cameras WERE! I thought those little signs with the picture of the camera were the actual camera!

Anyway - I went to speed school and I learned my lesson...but yeah, it's a lot of money for the fine but more of a deterrent to me is that you can have your license taken for going ten miles over the limit four times.

That's why I don't speed anymore.
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 08:47 am
@aidan,
If you got 3 miles over the limit you can still be fined. You must have been fined quiet a bit over the years then eh.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 08:57 am
@MatthewB7621,
Laughing Laughing Laughing
Yeah - a really, really bad habit. Let's just say that the only thing that saved my neck is that there are two other licensed drivers in my family who took a couple of hits for me - you know how you can say that someone else was driving the car when the speeding took place? That's the only thing I DO like about those cameras...you can pin the blame on someone else if they'll take it for you.

So anyway - that's what I had to do with a couple of tickets and now I just watch my speed. So I guess it worked. Laughing Laughing

But, I do always drive slowly and carefully in ice and snow. Laughing Laughing
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 09:00 am
@aidan,
You're lucky your family members would do that for you haha. If I was caught speeding my parents would probably just let me pay for it/ deal with the consequences.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 09:02 am
@MatthewB7621,
Other areas of countries which are more used to preparing for removal by investing in snow removal equipment and crews are better able to handle it. I know the old and narrow streets in UK can make that a nightmare, too.

For example here in parts of USA they're just as inept. I can personally attest to Wash Dc and No. Va being just as paralyzed as UK is at this snow removal matter. Anything close to 4-6 inches and it seizes the area up for travel for days. Whereas in Northeast in Boston, the ground is cleared within hours with minimal impact. It's all about budget priorities and municipal planning.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 09:03 am
@MatthewB7621,
Yeah - well me being the mother- it's in their best interest for me to keep my license - otherwise who's gonna drive to the grocery store and how am I gonna get to work every day to get money to pay their bills, etc., etc.

But yeah - I did feel guilty doing it- and I actually did learn my lesson and change my behavior.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 09:08 am
@MatthewB7621,
Media has been known at times to hyper-sensationalize for the sake of selling newspapers or get people to watch programs. If they keep harping on the 'real issues' at hand, they know they'll immediately lose their audience of sheeple.
MatthewB7621
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 09:15 am
@Ragman,
Yeah I know that the media has to constantly go on about a big story because it is something to tell us about.But in the end people just get fed up with hearing about it.
0 Replies
 
 

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