Waiting for the Sign to Change

Greetings, Ladies and Gentlemen! It’s time for another installment of your favorite mini-thriller: Driving On L.I. – Adventures in Transit. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone, somewhere, decides to go and do something so spectacularly dumb that you simply can’t believe your eyes.

Take, for instance, those drivers who feel compelled to hit the brakes at each and every intersection, despite the absence of any visible stop sign or traffic light. What they’re waiting for, exactly, we’ll never know for sure. All I know is, when you’re not prepared for someone to stop, it tends to cause a chain reaction on the streets of suburbia, the likes of which are not too pretty.

At least these individuals’ actions are relatively harmless (so long as those behind them are paying careful attention), if not completely bizarre. But then there are those who don’t feel it necessary to stop at all – for any reason. I suppose pausing at that octagonal red sign with the big white letters would only slow down their flight through the residential side streets. We simply can’t have that.

And let’s not forget my new favorite little quirk – those who insist on making left turns directly from the left lane, preferring to cause a 15-car pileup behind them instead of taking the trouble to glide over to that nice little, clearly marked left turn lane. What do they think the arrows on the pavement are for exactly? Decoration? All I can say is it’s bad enough being stuck behind someone attempting to make a turn across three lanes of a highway. But when they have the option of moving over and getting out of the way? No excuse. Perhaps if they paid a little closer attention and pretended there was someone else on the road besides them. (Hint: That’s what the mirrors are for.)    

The worst part of it is, because of the way others insist on driving, it causes those so-called “good” drivers to change their approach in order to compensate – to survive, really. Seriously, when you have people flying through stop signs that are there, you tend to find yourself reflexively slowing down at all corners…you know, just in case. So, in effect, you then become a part of the problem, a prime offender of the type mentioned above.

It’s really a wonder how some of these people ever managed to pass their road tests in the first place. Were they always this bad, or did the rest of those around them somehow rub off? Maybe it’s time for another round of Driver’s Ed?  

So, remember to stop when appropriate, to pause when unsure, and to keep an eye out for everyone else.  

Just when you think you’ve seen it all…there’s probably more. 


{Published: February 7th, 2007}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment