July 27, 2005
Mad at Max (Sorta)
Oh, I, too, have issues with drivers on my daily travels. It's not that. I think I simply have different issues with different drivers -- possibly with Max himself, from the sounds of it. I'd like to provide counterpoint to the "problems" he cites, one by one. (Note: I don't disagree with every point he makes.)
Dear Madder Max:
1. I'll agree that drivers should proceed at a reasonable, safe pace when they have the right-of-way (such as a green light). However, if the line is longer than what one signal cycle allows through, there is no need to be impatient or to feel that everyone in front of you needs to speed through the intersection just for YOU, dude.
2. I so rarely see anyone "slamming on" their brakes when a traffic signal switches to amber (Caution) that I can't give this one any credit. You and I both know that the vast majority of us speed up when we see the light change. If I have ample room to stop without "slamming on" brakes, though, I am going to stop -- and if you hit me, it's your fault.
3. I do agree that too many people take too long in making a right turn. Exit the roadway as safely as you enter it.
4. No right on red? I don't see that one. Usually I see the complete lack of a stop. A red light is not a turn elbow.
5. Hmmm. Ringgold Road in East Ridge seems to suffer a few instances of people stopping to get into the center turn lane, but not many. Other than that, I don't see this being as great a problem as people who are going 20 miles over the speed limit getting into a turn lane so early that sensible drivers who have traversed further along the main path have to do something creative in order to get into the turn lane themselves. (I don't recommend a complete stop, though. I do recommend about two solid minutes of "laying on" the horn at the one who flew up the lane, but only if the object of one's wrath is singularly identifiable by all. We don't want confusion as to who's receiving the sonic barrage.)
6. Okay, okay. "Drive right." Yes, you and I agree. Drivers should stay to the right, and only merge left to pass. But I have to ask: Max, are you, like, sixteen? Grow up, and show some respect to those who choose to drive safely. Oh, and almost no one has to be anywhere at a certain time. Think about it. What's going to happen? Will the world stop if you don't make the previews at the movie? The exception to this is for emergency vehicles, of course, yet I witness plenty of instances of drivers failing to provide access to these.
7. This is the one that really got me cursing. First of all, the soon-to-close lane's length is not a mile-and-a-half. It's a few hundred feet, usually. Secondly, "using it" equals nothing more than CUTTING IN LINE, Bucko. You just TRY to merge back into the single lane we've all -- being able to see farther into the future than a few seconds, we -- sensibly formed, after you've made your smart little move. Go on: try it. A great many people quite falsely assume that I will just let them in, after I've just watched them cut in front of several of those behind me, as if I didn't just see them do that. Oh, you should see the looks on their faces when they are flat-out denied.
8. See my #6.
9. I will not pull out in front of you if waiting to turn onto the roadway; I'll let your unsafe ass fly on by. But I will exact revenge if you ever tailgate me. (And no, I will not utilize unsafe driving practices to do so. I have other ways.)
10. Finally, we agree 100% on one. Cell phones are the worst thing to happen in the driving world since the elevation of the SUV's platform to its topple-ready and peripherally-blinding height. (I have stopped flipping people off. When they are driving stupidly and it's because of a cell phone, I look at them and hold my thumb and pinky up to the side of my face (the "universal phone sign"), grin sarcastically and mouth the words "Call me.") I also hate seeing cigarette butts tossed out of windows. What do people think the ashtray is for? Oh, but "it stinks up the car!" (Um, check your breath lately?) A pajillion pellets of permafiber lining the streets and clogging the storm sewers is not my idea of an enjoyable Tennessee.
Sunday Drive | By joe lance | 07:09 PM
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