Drive a single stretch of roadway, maybe half a mile in length along Florida’s State Highway 1A and you will count three flower wreaths commemorating the violent deaths of three people involved in three car accidents. Florida doesn’t have a lock on road carnage by any means. Roadside flower wreaths have sprouted up across North America.
Three deaths in a restaurant would be outrage; three deaths in a boating mishap would call for a marine review. Three traffic deaths on a short stretch of road cause…not too much. The bodies are taken away, the debris removed, the plastic shards and metal bits swept up, the road re-opened, and only a few hours later, it’s as though nothing happened. Just three wreaths as a reminder, should anyone happen to notice. Unless, of course, you are one of those grieving the death of a loved one.
No! I’m not anti-car. Love ’em in fact. Love driving, too. Not too fond of drivers, though, not these days. Not with the general lack of manners prevalent in society today, and especially, it seems, when people get behind the wheel of a car: Seemingly sane people, people who might be our friends, our neighbours, our co-workers, maybe even you. Turn on the ignition and too many of you lose all manners and civility. You become aggressive, thinking that you own whatever lane, street, road, highway that you are on. You don’t – it’s public property, and you need to share it.
You know who you are: won’t hold a door open; will cross in front of someone to enter a store instead of going around them. Either they have to stop or step on your toes. Lately, I’m all for the toe stepping.
You make the same type of moves in your car, don’t you? You’ll be the third, or even the forth car to make that left turn through the intersection, running the red, long seconds after the light has turned green for the opposite traffic, forcing them to stop and wait for you to clear the intersection.
You race to the red light. Why? You only waste gas, but you must get there ahead of the other guy. If he goes 50 clicks, you go 60. If he goes 60, you’ll do 70. If you need to turn right and you’re in the passing lane, you won’t fall in behind the car in the curb lane and make your turn behind him. No! Instead you’ll speed up and cut in front, braking sharply in order to make the right turn, forcing the other driver to slam on his brakes in order to avoid hitting you. Given a line of traffic, you won’t wait. That’s for suckers. You’ll move up in another lane and then cut in. If there’s no space, you’ll force your way in, especially if you’re driving a large SUV. If someone lets you in, you won’t wave a thanks. Too busy on your phone, or you feel that you deserve what you can get.
Either way, you are rude. You lack manners; there is no sense of fair play and certainly no consideration for your fellow traveler. I’ll bet that it is the lack of manners, more than alcohol, which is responsible for increased insurance costs and so many of those roadside wreaths. Along with driving lessons, maybe driving schools need to teach courtesy and manners, and maybe they should be tested along with our ability to drive. You need to smarten up; it’s just possible that one of those roadside wreaths has got your name on it!
MARD??? Mothers against Rude Drivers