Isle of Wight police were last night trying to track down a motorist who failed to acknowledge a local man's acknowledgement of the other driver's previous acknowledgement of his thoughtful act whilst driving.
The incident took place at around 3pm in St Martin's Way, Ventnor. Local driver Trevor Blake, who had been heading east in his Kia Picanto when he saw a large saloon approaching from the opposite direction, said: 'There was a removal van parked on my side, so I pulled to a brief stop in order to let the other driver pass. It was nothing really, it just made sense at the time. The other driver raised his hand in acknowledgement - I believe we also made eye contact - and I lifted I think four fingers off the steering wheel to indicate that I'd seen and appreciated his acknowledgement.'
And that's when the trouble started. 'I kept an eye out for the response to my expression of thanks for his gratitude, which was heartfelt and genuine, but there was nothing. He effectively blanked me. Even when we were side by side, when he had plenty of opportunity to give a friendly wave or even wind down the window to convey his appreciation verbally, perhaps with a cheery admonition to enjoy my day, he just stared resolutely ahead. I was shaking with rage. At the next safe stopping place I used my mobile telephone to contact the police.'
At a hastily convened press conference, Chief Superintendent Nick Hampton of the Isle of Wight police said that, while acknowledgements of acknowledgements of acknowledgements of driving courtesies weren't a legal requirement in most of the UK, the law was different in the Isle of Wight. 'The process of giving thanks for thanks can continue for many hours in the polite roads and avenues around the island. We completely understand Mr Blake's sense of loss and we have officers with him now assuring him that our search for the culprit will continue for as long as it takes. Mr Blake thanked us for our efforts, and our officers in turn thanked him for drawing the matter to our attention. Mr Blake then kindly acknowledged our response, and I believe the officers are currently expressing their appreciation of Mr Blake's recognition of our efforts.'
With that, the press conference drew to a close. The Chief Inspector thanked the members of the press for turning up at such short notice. 'No, thank YOU,' said one.