Tag Archives: driving courtesy

Those Vermont drivers!

 So I was chatting with a very nice guy at the League of Vermont Writers meeting recently, and when I told him about how we Riders strive to make driving better around here, he immediately responded that Vermont drivers sure need the help because they are awful! You’re not going to believe this, but I was speechless! Here I am feeling as if I’m cheating by hiding out in the land of no traffic jams or people blocking the left lane (mostly because there is no left lane), and thanking my lucky stars every time I hit the road, when I find out that an actual Vermonter thinks that’s insane. Go figure! Oh sure, we’re a little short on passing zones, and there are occasions when you’re going to get stuck behind somebody poking along, especially in fall foliage or ski season, but on the whole, when it comes to irritating driver behavior, Vermont has a severe shortage and that’s the way we like it.

Here’s an example: Last week I was sitting at a red light (yes, we do have a few), the second car back and we were both turning left. I know this because we were both using our left turn signals. There was no green arrow or turning lane, and normally when the light changed we (and the cars behind us) would have waited until all the folks going straight in the opposite direction went by, but not this time. Because the first driver across the way kindly motioned the guy in front of me to hustle on through ahead of him. And the third one did the same for me. You can be sure he got a very enthusiastic cheery wave in return for his exceptional courtesy 🙂 So you can see why in my book, Vermont drivers are AOK!

Thanks, neighbors!

 

Mother has a dream

Would it be in bad taste to steal, I mean build on, the Rev. Dr. King’s powerful concept? I don’t think so; he seems like the kind of guy who would be glad to share, especially for a good cause. Sure, Mother’s dream is somewhat different from the inspiring dream we celebrate today, but it’s an excellent dream nonetheless. Would you like to hear it? Here goes…

I have a dream that one day all of us will travel together in peace on the roads of America. And I mean ALL of us, from the tiniest pedestrian to the biggest monster truck. Yes, even the bikers, the Hummers and the pokey little Subarus.

I have a dream that safety belts everywhere will be buckled and helmets will be worn every time, not because it’s the law but because we know better, and we are much too responsible to stick our family, friends and emergency responders with the tragic consequences of our carelessness.

I have a dream that we will watch where we’re going, avoid distractions, and absolutely never, ever, text or chat on the phone while we’re driving. or get behind the wheel while impaired.

I have a dream that we will keep our windshields and windows clean, and our mirrors and lights too (and clean means not just dirt, but ice, snow and crap on the dashboard or the back window), because visibility is a key factor in getting there in one piece, without smashing into anyone or anything, and because my Dad, the father of salubrious driving, said so.

I have a dream that drivers will merge in a safe and orderly fashion, and remember to take turns when the situation calls for it (say at lane closures or 4-way stops), that they will refrain from excessive honking and taking up two parking spaces, that they will use their signals when turning or changing lanes and never tailgate or obstruct the traffic behind them. And if it isn’t too much trouble, I’d like them to try not to go too slow or too fast.

I have a dream that we will treat our fellow travelers with patience and courtesy always, greet them with cheery waves occasionally, and never, ever display rude gestures or aggressive behavior.

I have a dream that from I-5 to I-95, I-10 to I-94, US 1 to US 101, the Lincoln Highway to Route 66, all of God’s licensed drivers will travel together in salubrious harmony all the days of our lives, unless we can think of an excuse to just stay home.

And that’s my dream – considerably less grand than the original, but still worth doing. So if you don’t mind, let’s start making my dream come true first thing tomorrow, shall we? Please?

But tonight, I’ll sign off with great thanks and a hearty Happy Birthday to the Reverend Doctor King, may he rest in peace. I like to think of him looking down from heaven and smiling at this wonderful performance by the 4th graders from Watkins Elementary School in Washington, DC (courtesy of PBS NewsHour):