Nightmare car trip (Sandy McMillan)

I drove to Sumburgh Airport from Lerwick last Wednesday morning, leaving the house at approximately 6.20am, with a passenger who was to catch the first flight to Aberdeen.

This turned out to be a nightmare, not because of the weather as it was not too bad a morning, but because of other circumstances.

The nightmare started at the Observatory once we were away from the few street lights which are still working.

We began to meet other vehicles (some folk would say well that’s alright, that’s what the roads are for). True, but when they have only one headlight, the nearside one, you think it is a motorbike.

The next vehicle driver didn’t know the meaning of dip, or probably didn’t know where the dip switch was at. Try the steering column!

The next driver had one blue coloured light and the other one was bright white. They had dipped, but the white light at the driver’s side did not move – it was like a searchlight pointing skywards. Maybe a stargazer?

Then we got a tailgater sitting on our bumper. One touch of the brakes and he is in the car beside you!

Don’t get me wrong. I am not what you would call a good driver, but I do know what is right or wrong. I was so terrified of my drive back I waited until daylight before returning to Lerwick.

Sandy McMillan
13 South Lochside,


Add Your Comment
  • thomas leask

    • January 22nd, 2015 17:31

    As a taxi driver i know this all to well sandy, it is shocking how many cars are like this, i see the exact same every day…if its not a tailgater its a petrofac pickup overtaking on a blind corner…

  • Colin Hunter

    • January 22nd, 2015 18:31

    I know exactly what yo mean Sandy! I was driving home to Brae one night and it was the same. Some one eyed monsters, some with every light blazing, fog lights included, and apparently unable to find the dip switch. There also seems to be a growing trend among those who do dip, of putting their lights back on full beam just before they get to you, thereby momentarily giving you the full benefit just as they pass you.
    The other trend, which seems to have subsided somewhat this year, is for trucks and some coaches to have a row of spot lights on top of the cab, some with strange blue tinted “sidelights” in them, giving the impression of an emergency vehicle with faulty “blues”.
    To be fair to some of the “one eyed monsters” though, the design of some modern cars makes it very difficult to change blown bulbs. My own is no problem because by undoing one screw, and a couple of clips, the entire headlamp unit can be removed and the lamps changed easily. Some, however, do not have this facility and one can only conclude that their makers place design aesthetics ahead of functionality!

  • Ryan watt

    • January 22nd, 2015 18:49

    Well done, you obviously don’t drive on shetlands roads very often. This is a daily occurrence for me driving up to the gas plant. No policing on shetland roads whatsoever and when there is, it is reported a week beforehand in the local paper so none of these numptys are on the road.

  • Carol Edwardson

    • February 2nd, 2015 12:13

    I have just returned home after a wonderful winter holiday with Shetland Wildlife, which also included the day of activities to celebrate Up Hellya. This was truly amazing and breathtaking. Having now visited most of the Shetland Isles in different seasons, therefore weather cannot be held responsible, may I make a plea to the socially and environmentally irresponsible citizens to get their act together and clean up the discarded litter and cars which detract from a magnificent landscape!

    • Sandy McMillan

      • February 2nd, 2015 21:20

      Carol, it was not the wrecks at the side of the road i was on aboot, hit wis the wrecks running aroond da roads


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