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Sunday, September 8, 2013
In the 1950s, after driving to New England too many times, I became convinced that the country’s worst drivers were in New Jersey and Massachusetts. I’m now convinced that the varmints have infiltrated Southwest Virginia. To wit:
1. Use of turn signals. The Department of Motor Vehicles manual says to use the signals three to four seconds or 100 feet before a turn, not after entering the turn. Same for changing lanes. There might be a 50 percent compliance rate.
2. Headlights and windshield wipers. DMV says use together in rain, mist or low visibility, day, dusk or night. Dusk is the most hairy time to come upon or meet an idiot with lights off who never understood, much less complied with, the “see and be seen” caution.
3. Excess speed in heavily travelled parking areas. Last week, a shiny black, sporty Mercedes car came through the striped caution area at Mach 1 as I was leaving Kroger. Couldn’t tell the gender, as the driver’s head was much too small and knotty. Many airheads stick a cellphone in an ear hole as they either accelerate or poke along. The accelerators are the more dangerous.
4. Finally, a word about pedestrians whose elders never told them to look both ways before stepping into traffic. Now with all the painted crosswalks and pedestrian caution signs, they may assume they are invincible and have no need to look anywhere but straight ahead. I’m surprised more are not ambulance passengers, what with all the bent heads texting.
And an afterthought. Prospective drivers study the DMV manual and must pass a written test. Once the permit is in hand, the manual is forgotten. So why not require a written test with alternate drivers’ license renewals? Think how many lives that might be save. Could be yours.
Weather Journal70 Thursday to ice Sunday?