Monday, June 28, 2010


Last night I caught about two minutes of a "world's worst drivers" type TV show. In one case, a policeman was in hot pursuit of a speeder on surface streets, on a three lane road with a wide median and then another three lanes going the other way. The policeman was flying down the #2 lane. A car emerged from a street on the right side with the intent to cross over to the oncoming lanes through the median. Then the driver saw a police car coming, lights and sirens blazing. The driver's sheep instincts kicked in before their brains did, and the camera picks up a cloud of tire smoke from the #3 lane as the car comes to a dead STOP right in the #2 lane . . . smack in the path of the oncoming police cruiser. The cop swerved, but didn't have time to avoid the car entirely. The driver would have been dead, T-boned by the bull bar on the front of the policemobile, but for the quick reactions of this policeman. As it is, the police car picked up the corner of the sheep's car, and rolled. The in-car video recording had the audio from the officer "been involved in a collision" calling back to his dispatcher. My Darling Wife and I roundly criticized the idiot driver who stopped straight in front of the oncoming policeman.

Then, this morning on the way to work, I almost replayed the whole scene! On a road with two lanes, a left turning lane, and two oncoming lanes. I was in the #1 lane, and a minivan pulled out of a parking lot on the right, with the aim of turning left. Did the car turn into the left turning lane? No, that would be reasonable. The car STOPPED in the #1 lane in a 50MPH zone, waiting for a gap to clear in traffic before entering the turning lane!. Fortunately for all involved, I was going 1/3 the speed of the aforementioned policeman, and laid on the horn for about 50 yards as I hit the brakes. This was enough warning for the vintage driver to get all but the last couple of feet of his minivan into the left turning lane. That would be, STILL instead of pulling into the #1 lane of oncoming traffic, where there was a gap left for him already by the courteous drivers going the other way. The pickup truck beside me in the #2 lane saw a train wreck coming and slowed down to give me room. I didn't need it because the VFDmobile is pretty narrow, but it was nice to have the clearance.

Why.In.The.WORLD would you STOP in lanes of traffic when there is a left turning lane available for you to cross into? This can get you KILLED DEAD, people! Unless you want to be this guy, keep moving until you are no longer in the path of oncoming traffic!

Don't be that guy

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