Monday, January 23, 2012

Important Driving Tip: Green Means Go

If you drive a car, then you presumably know the basic traffic rules.  And if you know the basic traffic rules, then you know that when the traffic signal changes from "red" to "green," that means it is time to ACCELERATE your vehicle and resume driving.

Right?  People do know this rule, right?  Because lately, I have been stuck behind a shocking number of drivers who just do not want to GO when the light turns green.  I don't want to overreact, but PEOPLE WHEN THE LIGHT TURNS GREEN, THAT MEANS IT IS TIME TO DRIVE YOUR FREAKING CAR, WHAT DO YOU WANT, AN ENGRAVED INVITATION TO CROSS THE INTERSECTION?  HOLY CRAP JUST MOVE YOUR FOOT FROM THE BRAKE TO THE ACCELERATOR AND DRIVE ALREADY.

(Excuse me, I need a drink).

I understand that sometimes there are reasons to ignore the green light: e.g. there's an approaching ambulance or fire truck; someone is still in the crosswalk; you just spotted Elvis across the street and you are too stunned to drive.

The following, however, are not valid reasons to hesitate when the light turns green:
  • You just need to finish typing the text message you are sending your boyfriend/paramour/best friend/boss/etc.
  • You do not like being the first car in the intersection, so you are waiting for someone else to take the initiative.
  • You can't remember which color means "go" - green?  yellow?  both at the same time?
If you are the lead car waiting at a red light, you have a serious responsibility: when the light turns green, you must accelerate as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Maybe you are just out for a leisurely drive.  Maybe you just like to do things are your own pace, and "your own pace" happens to be "really slowly."  Okay, I hear you.  I'm listening.  But guess what?  I DON'T CARE. 

If you are the lead car, and you wait an unreasonably long amount of time before accelerating, guess what happens?  Someone behind you, who should have made the light, doesn't.  And because you, Princess Slowpoke, failed in your moral responsibilities as a driver, that poor car behind you is going to get stuck sitting through another red light.

Forget speeding tickets.  I think the police should be authorized to issue "unnecessary delay at a green light" tickets.   

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