Not so close, please!

How many times have you been going down the road, minding the speed limit, when all of a sudden the only thing you can see in the rear view mirror is a great big grill of a huge truck!  Man, it puts a scare into anyone, and this person is not backing off.  At every chance he gets, he is trying to pass you only to be forced back into the lane when another car appears over the hill or around the next curve.  Finally the way is clear and the truck pulls past you, and usually gives you the international one-finger salute, as though you are the one person that stands in his way.  I know that it’s tough to keep your cool, but that’s all you can do.  You can never tell what the state of mind that the other driver is in, so you can thank your lucky stars that he has safely passed you and is on his merry way.  I guess these type of people are under the impression that their time is so much more valuable than yours, so get he or she says, get the hell out of my way, slow poke, so I can get to where I need to be!

I know this time of year we tend not to think about snow, but have you ever noticed how some drivers have such short memories?   It usually happens at the beginning of winter, when these forgetful individuals drive to work on a clear morning and the streets are clear of snow or ice.  Then during the day, a light snowfall takes place, covering all the roads and road markings with that white stuff.  Well then, these forget-me-nots start the drive home on the snow-covered streets.  They approach an intersection that has a left turn lane, a straight thru lane, and a right turn lane.  But these people all seen to suffer from short-term memory loss, because all of them are driving in one lane, and of course the guy waiting to make a left turn is holding up a whole line of traffic.  You feel like getting out of the car and giving him a cuff upside the head to see if you can get the connected brain cells working again!  No, you have to chill out and wait till he gets moving.

Just another thought crossed my mind.  I know a lot of you people said to yourselves ‘short trip’.   I am jumping all over the place today.  A number of years ago, when I was living in London, we were out one night to a bingo game.  On the way home we were driving down Dundas St., the main drag in London, and came upon a red light.  As we were stopped and waiting for the green light, a young boy, whom was sitting on a bench nearby, got up, walked into the middle of Dundas St., and proceeded to lay down on the centre line of the street!  I couldn’t believe that he was actually doing that.  But he stayed there, and when my light turned green, and since there were no cars behind me, I pulled my car right up beside him, and opened my door, and told him that he had to be the dumbest jackass in London at that particular moment.  Then I drove on.  He was probably high on something, but I had a chance to vent a bit.  Feels good, sometimes to get things off your chest.  Every time you think you have seen it all, someone does another fool stunt!  Is there any end to it all?  Not likely, carry on till the next issue.

Mini-Maxi ?

No, I’m not getting into the fashion industry now.  I don’t have enough brain power to figure out where the real money is!  All I’m talking about here is the mini cars that are multiplying like rabbits on the roads!  Its not that I dislike these mini-delights, because I suppose you would call my car a mini as well.  As far as I can tell, they are good for the environment, smaller engine, use less gas, better mileage, easier to park in small spaces, etc.  What I don’t like about them is some of the hair-brained drivers that are operating the things!

Take for instance the other day.  I’m waiting a stop light in the centre lane when all of a sudden some bone-head in a mini comes speeding up from my left side and makes a right hand turn at the intersection.  Not only does he almost make the turn on two wheels, but he dam near hits me in the process, because he makes such a wide turn with his mini-machine!  You would think this guy was driving an eight-teen wheeler and he needed a ten acre field in order to turn the corner for God’s sake!  And then he has to criss cross over about three lanes of traffic to finally figure out what lane he wants to drive in.  I sometimes wonder if the guy driving this car, has a piece of chain attached to the steering wheel which restricts how far he can turn the thing.  I’ll never know, but somehow they all seem to end up on the road the same time I do.

Another thing that bugs me is the drivers that have to park as close to the front door of the store or business establishment as they possibly can!  And it dosen’t seem to matter whether it is a small or large vehicle.  I have seen them park the vehicle with one or two front wheels on the sidewalk in front of the store, with the bumper literally a metre from the door!  What the hell is wrong with people who do that?  They seem to have no concern for others, especially seniors with a walker, and mothers with baby strollers, etc. 

And dare I say it, but usually it is some young guy or chick who bounces out of the vehicle and into the store.  They should be amoung the healthiest people around, and they could very well park some distance away and walk.  And on many occasions, they have been seen parking in the handicap spots.  I have at times, confronted the driver of said vehicle to remind him or her of that fact, only to be told where to go, and what to do to myself when I get there!  The foul mouthed little  ********’s, I might add.

Oh well, I had better chill out,  the blood pressure starts to top out just about now.  So I will shut down for now and take a break.  More later.

Red light, Stop light!

Some drivers still do not believe that a red light means stop!  It’s a kind of ‘roll through kinda slowly and no one will notice’ thing.  Yes we have all probably done it in the past, but it’s particularly troublesome when there is a high volume of car and pedestrian traffic. But lets check out those idiots (oops, did I say that out loud!), I mean those educated drivers running rampant in our streets, once more time.  Kind of a favourite pass time for me in my senior years.  Yes, I know what you are saying, that old coot has too much time on his hands.  Put him away!

Never-the-less, have you ever come up to a red light and made a proper stop at the stop line?  Yes, the ‘stop line’ that is painted on the pavement at just about every intersection controlled by traffic lights!  After many years of observation in towns and cities that I have lived in across Ontario, not many people observe this simple device.  Its purpose is pretty obvious I would think.  It is supposed to keep the stopped traffic out of the intersection and the pedestrian cross-walk, so that traffic can proceed better with no obstructions.

Now I am far from a perfect driver, but I do try to keep out of the intersection by stopping at the stop line.  On many occasions I’ve come up to the red light in the right lane to make a right turn.  Now I also know that the Ontario traffic law, at most intersections, state that I can make a right turn if there are no cars or pedestrians in the way, and after I have come to a full stop!  How many times have you seen that scenario happen?  Most times, the drivers come screeching up to the corner, and without stopping,  make the right turn almost on two wheels,  without checking for traffic or pedestrians, and speeding off down the road giving everyone the old one finger ‘Canadian Salute’!

Back to the intersection, I have come to a full stop at the stop line, and I am waiting for the traffic to clear so I can proceed to make a right turn.  Next thing I know, a big van or truck pulls up in the centre lane, well over the stop line, and quite often, right into the pedestrian walkway.  Now that may be just fine for that idiot of a driver, because he can see right into the intersection and can get a good jump on the surrounding traffic when the light turns green.   But what about the pedestrians who now have to dart out into the traffic in front of this guy, in order to cross the street?  Not very safe I might add. 

Also it makes me a little hot under the collar.  Now I can’t see the oncoming traffic from the left because this behemoth is parked beside me!  I suppose if I had a larger vehicle, like a tank, instead of my little economy car, then I could push my way through the intersection with no regard whatsoever of other vehicles or pedestrians like some jerks do!  However, being a practicle man, and a fairly flexible time-table, I am in no particular hurry, because I have allowed extra time for my journey.   I just wait for the light to turn green, and after all the pedestrian and car traffic has cleared out, I then proceed to make my turn.  Maybe it’s just me, but it seems there are more and more of these idiots out there every year.  And they all seem to follow me around!  Go figure.   Who knows, I may be back as a driving instructor in a future life!  Not bloody likely!  More to come.

Driving us crazy

How about the road show in these here parts!  Driving anywhere in this country requires you to keep your eyes wide open.  Sometimes I wonder in what cereal box some of these present day drivers got their driver’s licence.

Take the other day for instance.  I’m driving on a one-way street, at the legal speed limit I might add, when all of a sudden a car comes out of a side street, through the stop sign from my left side and makes a left hand turn onto my one-way street in front of me and almost hits my car!  Then the passenger in the other car  raises his fist at me as though it was my fault!  Makes you wonder, eh?

I don’t know how many readers out there have ever watched the TV program called “Canada’s Worst Drivers” but I have been watching it for as long as it has been playing, and it tells how some of these drivers got their licence!  For instance, one young attractive lady said when she went to take her drivers examination, she wore a low, low cut top and a very mini-skirt, flashed her big long eye-lashs at the examiner, and he sort of melted right in front of her, and while he was gazing at the stars, she placed the pen in his hand and had him sign the paper!  Pretty simple if you ask me.   But it certainly dosen’t put a safe and knowledgeable driver on the road.  More horror stories to come.