Tuesday, September 15, 2009


School has been in session for a few weeks now, and I’m sure I speak for any family with school aged children in their immediate or extended family, when I say that I would like to end the school year with as many children as I started it with. The problem is that there is a whole lot of stupid going on out there.
I live in Utah, so it’s a given that if it’s not snowing, you’re going to run into road construction if you drive any farther than say, out of your driveway. When we factor in the orange cones, the flaggers, cell phone users and texters, it doesn’t seem like there’s much room for a margin for error. In other words we need to be paying attention to driving rather than a lot of the other stuff clamoring for our attention, because it’s obvious that the other people on the road are thinking about something other than the safety of our children.
I drive my son back and forth to school every day so I get to see the best (once in a great while) and the worst (several times a day) of traffic etiquette. In the past few weeks I’ve seen all this and more, and it makes me wonder why there aren’t a lot more accidents than what makes the news every day.
-male driver, looking in the rear view mirror, using a battery powered razor to shave as he drives through a school/construction zone.
-female driver, putting on eye makeup, again with the rearview mirror.
- driver apparently eating cereal: holding the bowl in one hand and a spoon in the other, moving something from bowl to mouth. But traffic was moving slowly thanks to a previous accident.
-male bicyclist weaving in and out of traffic, no helmet, talking on cell phone, and oh yeah, carrying a small child (also no helmet) on the handlebars.
- bicyclists riding 4 abreast, playing a game of catch
- bicyclists insisting on their right to be on the road, until it’s more convenient to be a pedestrian to avoid waiting for the light
-multiple drivers who are sure they have the right-of-way while making a right turn on a red light.
-skateboarders coming down their sloped driveways into the street, no checking for traffic
- pedestrians stepping into the street without checking for traffic, about 50 feet from the crosswalk, or in the crosswalk but against the light, walking slowly and usually at an angle so it takes longer, but gosh, they have the right-of- way!
- people who must be trying to be polite so they suddenly slam on the brakes on a through street/green light so that the guy at the stop sign/red light doesn’t have to wait his turn.
-those who drive on the shoulder to get to the front of a long line of stop and go traffic, and then think that they have the right to enter in the flow of traffic ahead of those who have been waiting.
Sorry, your time is not more precious than mine; just because you overslept doesn’t mean that everyone else needs to make allowances so you can get to where you’re going. My kid is going to the same school yours is, if you cut in front of me and cause an accident, both of them are late anyway. Leave home a few minutes earlier, respect the rules of the road, and those with whom you share it, including flaggers, construction vehicles, trucks, strollers, bikes, motorcycles, pedestrians, and even cars. There’s already too much stupid happening, don’t add to it!
BTW, most of the time, stupidity on the road is not a valid reason for a 911 call, and if you’re driving, texting the make, model, license plate number to the local police department isn’t a good option either.
Yep, there’s a whole lot of stupid going on. I just pray that with God's help we’ll get through the next few weeks until it starts snowing, and a whole new set of stupid kicks in!

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