Friday, May 13, 2005


I am issuing a fatwa against the drivers in this city. Sometimes, I get on the road here and within minutes, I am reduced to a quivering rage and convinced that every single person in the city took a stupid pill that morning. So, let's review a few basics of good driving/ traffic habits.

First, when the light turns green, traffic turning left MUST YIELD to traffic going straight. You do not have the right to turn left in front of me unless a)you have the left turn arrow or b)I have stopped and indicated to you (by flashing lights or waving, for example) that I am allowing you to turn left despite the fact that I have the right of way.

Second, don't tailgate. It doesn't make me go any faster. In fact, it probably has the opposite effect. Especially in a school zone. Maybe you have no problem with paying a $300 fine, but I like my clean driving record and don't have extra money to pay speeding tickets. Beyond that self-centered motivation, the fact is that children don't always pay attention to what's going on around them and I don't want to be responsible for killing some 8 year old who chases a ball out into the street.

Third, crosswalks are there for a reason. Vehicles MUST yield to pedestrians. Period. No exceptions. Don't fly up, squeal to a halt, then make rude gestures at the pedestrians to hurry up. Don't get pissy when I stop my car to allow the pedestrians to cross. Don't rev your engine like you might change your mind and plow right over the pedestrians. And you pedestrians have to do your part as well. Don't cross when the light says "Don't walk". Some of the intersections stop traffic in all directions for pedestrians to cross. That means that you don't also get to cross just because the traffic in your direction has the red light. Also, take the time and make the effort to walk the extra 50 yards to the crosswalk, especially on busy streets and areas with heavy traffic. If I have to slam my brakes and get hit by the moron tailgating me, you better bet your sweet bippy I'll be looking to include you in the suit for damages. I'm a law student, for Pete's sake, can you think of a more litigious demographic?

Fourth, turn signals are standard on ALL VEHICLES sold in this country. Use yours. They are very easy to operate and located on the column of your steering wheel for your convenience. Wondering when you should use your turn signals? Every time you change langes. Every time you *gasp* turn, whether left or right. Every time you intend to deviate from the current straight line you are traveling for any reason.

Fifth, learn how to park or else take the bus.

Sixth, if everyone just follows the traffic laws and exercises some common courtesy, traffic will flow more smoothly and everyone will get where they are going faster. Therefore, it is against your best interests, as well as mine, if you speed up to prevent me from making a lane change when I am patiently signalling to change lanes. Don't manuever to prevent me from merging onto the highway. Don't pull up and block the intersection just to ensure that you don't have to wait through a light change. Don't block the driveway-- and while we're talking about it, it wouldn't kill you to let the person trying to pull out of the driveway pull out in front of you.

Seventh, pay attention. Hang up your stupid cell phone.Quit trying to put makeup on. Quit gawking at the girls wearing short skirts. If you're behind the wheel, you need to be driving.


At 3:50 PM , Blogger vesna said...

Having learned to drive in Our Fair City, and being painfully aware of its age demographic, I should like to add an eighth point of good driving/traffic habits. If you can't see over the steering wheel of your monster pre-1970's car, don't drive. You can't see the road, which makes me fear for my life. Both inside and outside my own vehicle.

At 10:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other day I was behind a huge Nissan Frontier pickup in Shadyside. The pickup was drastically swerving back and forth (including into oncoming traffic) to avoid every hint of a pothole.
Isn't the point of a big 4x4 pickup that you DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT UNEVEN ROADS????????

-Mad dog


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