Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Speed - the Multifaceted Road Demon

A big pickup truck barrels through a narrow residential neighborhood. There is a stop sign 200 metres down the street, yet the truck rockets towards it like it is a drag strip finish line. The brake lights suddenly appear at about 10-15 feet from the stop sign. What a rush - that must be for the heroic driver. Congratulations, you have learned how to press on that gas pedal, while you travel unprepared to stop in a street where a kid, or car can pop out onto the road any second. Hurray! A pat on your back for your skill and bravery.

How typical this style of driving is in the old city. A sudden burst of gas, the Start! The "my car is more powerful than yours" Acceleration, and then the Reset, i.e., stopping at that next red light 100's of metres away. A green light signals the Repeat.

There are so many things wrong with that driving habit. One big one, is that it eats up more gas, hence, creates more fuel demand, hence affects rising gas prices. Two, it is unnecessary to be weaving in and out of traffic, often in close proximity to other vehicles, and without signaling, it's the opposite of courteous. Three, it increases the risk of accidents and injuries, especially the frequent running red lights, and driving through crosswalks with pedestrians waiting to cross. Why someone at the MUN crosswalk by CBC has not been hit is amazing.

Fourth, forget trying keep a little distance between yourself and the driver ahead. It's seen as an invite to ignorantly swerve in this gap and irritate you more. More inane driving, more accidents, higher insurance rates for all.

Around these parts, you have to be concerned for your tires and minimizing car damage, due to the rut-riddled roads. It requires cautious road navigation skills, and often means slowing down to meander through the minefields. But that doesn't stop some drivers from practically pushing you out of the way, or threatening to pass where there is a no pass street.

Driving too fast and rude reckless driving burns more gas, creates more gas demand which drives prices up, raises the chances of accidents and injuries, and drives insurance rates up, and probably people's blood pressure. Driving fast should not be equated with good driving, or how "on the go I am", or a measure of one's importance, rather, it is what it is, a bloody menace.

No comments: