This is a stop sign, right? And, to the best of my knowledge, that means that any vehicle that comes upon one must actually stop, yes? That is it's intent. You approach, you stop, and when it's your turn, you go. That's how it works. Or at least that is how it's supposed to work.
I have noticed, since I've lived here, a distinct uptick in people's disregard to road signage. Which means that on the rare occasion when I actually do drive, I know that I must be on High Alert at all times. Defensive driving is an absolute must. It is exhausting. Yet another reason to not want to drive.
I'm not talking about rolling stops. We all do that occasionally. It's wrong but it's not the end of the world. Nobody coming in any direction? Yeah, roll up to the sign kinda slow, double check for any other vehicle or pedestrian and then slowly speed back up. Rolling stop. Also known as a Broadway stop. I'm okay with that actually as long as the effort has been made to at least slow down and check in all directions. It's the blatant disregard that ticks me off. It's as if there is no sign there at all. It's not as if the sign were large and red and ...oh wait, it is. I assume that for some people there is fine print that only they can see that says..."Except for you of course".
There is a 4-way intersection here that is particularly annoying. Not because of the actual intersection, but the way drivers use it. Picture this. There are three lanes. The one on the left for turning left, the one in the middle for going straight and the one on the right for turning right. There are Very Large arrows in the center of each of those lanes indicating what the drive is supposed to do. There are even signs that say things like, "Right Lane Must Turn Right". Other than drive the car for you, there isn't much more that the town can do to help you out here. And yet. And yet! People in the right lane insist on going straight. Which becomes a problem about in about one car length. People in the center lane try to go right. Or left. Which is an ever bigger problem. And one time someone in the left lane changed there mind and decided to go right. Yikes!
Speed limit? What speed limit? Regardless of what the signs say, there are some cars zoom by in a blur as if they were low flying planes, or doing the quick and constant lane change maneuvering on these roads like is was the INDY 500. And then there is the other extreme. The cars that go poking long even more slowly than I drive (which is saying something). I actually found myself saying to one car this morning..."Pedal faster!!" with great irritation (made Tim laugh though). It was one of those very small 'smart' cars. It's a good thing the car is smart, the driver certainly wasn't. There was a veritable parade of vehicles behind him.
Then there are the ones on their cell phones, texting, talking, watching videos, taking pictures. Stop it! I know they all think it's ok just this one time, but it only takes one time to be the last time. I saw a bumper sticker once that said, "Honk if you love Jesus. Text if you want to meet him right away". I love that sticker. And it's not just phones. I've seen women's fixing their hair and putting on makeup. I've seen people reading maps (real fold out maps....yes they still exist), turning around to talk to people in the backseat (bad idea...face forward..that's where the road is), eating and drinking of course, times when I have no idea WHAT they were doing. I only know what they were not doing which is paying attention to the road!
The assumption here, I know, is that all of these terrible drivers are oldsters. You would be wrong! There is something about crossing over the state line in Florida that makes everyone a little crazy. Perfectly good drivers normally just lose their minds. It's as if, all bets are off, the rule book is tossed out the window and chaos rules. And I honestly do not understand why this should be the case. While plenty of the rule breakers are indeed geriatric, there are people of ALL ages breaking the rules.
Correct me if I'm wrong here but when a person gets their drivers license, they have to sign it. And that signature is tantamount to signing a contract with the state indicating that you have agreed to follow all of the rules of the road. It is essentially a legal agreement and the signer has the obligation now to stop at the stop sign, stay at least close to the speed limit and be in the correct damned turning lane! Geez!
It's not just because a rule is a rule is a rule. Our society is not functional through anarchy. No society is frankly. Traffic rules are there for a reason. It's not just annoying when people don't follow the rules, it's dangerous.
I once heard comedian Ron White say, "You can't fix stupid". He was saying it for comedic effect, of course, but apparently that is far more true that I realized. Because if anyone thinks that a bad accident cannot happen to them, well that is just stupid.
Drive Carefully and Defensively please. I cherish all of my friends and I don't want to lose anyone if it can be prevented.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.