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Learn to drive or get off the road!

By Scott Tibbs, May 6, 2014

As I was driving up South Walnut Street one morning last week, I had to slow down, and the reason for it literally stunned me. The fool in front of me stopped in the middle of the street to let someone out into the business. The fool could have easily pulled into the parking lot and dropped off his passenger safely, but instead stopped in the middle of the street to let his passenger out.

I was stunned. What possible reason could there be to justify such an incredibly selfish and dangerous maneuver? It would not have taken more than ten to fifteen seconds to pull into the lot, drop the guy off, and then move on. I could not believe what I was seeing, with such arrogance, selfishness and complete disregard for basic traffic safety.

Granted, I see this nonsense all the time around campus, and it is infuriating there as well. There is not one single legitimate reason to stop in the middle of the street to let someone out instead of pulling into the lot. No one expects you to stop in the middle of traffic so that you can release your passenger, so the danger this move presents is obvious. The selfishness is obvious too. Do you really think you are so important that basic rules do not apply to you?

Speaking of selfishness, a fool behind me at Starbucks on South Walnut honked at me because I was taking too long (in his extremely small mind) to exit the parking lot. I was waiting because another vehicle was headed north, and had I pulled out in front of her I would have been smacked broadside.

Her turn signal was on well in advance, so it looked like she was pulling into Starbucks - but my instincts told me that was not going to happen. I was right. Had I done what the fool behind me wanted me to do, I would have been in a serious accident and his delay would have been much longer.

Folks, this is not hard. Do not treat public streets as your personal drop zone. Step on the gas when the light is green. Yield the right of way to emergency vehicles. Fill up the space between you and the next vehicle when you are waiting at a red light, to allow more people to get into the line. If everyone would follow a few basic rules of common courtesy, it will be easier for everyone. Traffic flow and safety would both improve, as well.