The Real Road Rage!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Anony­mous

There is a se­ri­ous prob­lem hap­pen­ing in our coun­try. But you’ll only hear about dur­ing pri­vate dis­cus­sions, never in pub­lic fo­rums. I’m talk­ing about the traf­fic! A quick Google search will re­veal plenty web­sites sell­ing used cars. Now, noth­ing is wrong with peo­ple buy­ing a car; the prob­lem arises when our roads can­not sup­port the vol­ume! When I was a child it would take most peo­ple 20 min­utes from the Morne to Rod­ney Bay. In heavy traf­fic, 30 min­utes tops. The com­mute time has now dou­bled. The in­crease in cars also means an in­crease in ac­ci­dents. Peo­ple seem to have for­got­ten the rules and laws when it comes to driv­ing. Ev­ery­one is in a rush to some­where. Or they couldn’t give a damn about driv­ing at 20 km/hour! By driv­ing so stupidly, all you’re look­ing for is an ac­ci­dent. You’re not only slow­ing road users be­hind you, you are run­ning the risk of send­ing some­one into a ma­jor road rage—and pos­si­bly another ac­ci­dent.

Bus driv­ers refuse to pull to the side of the road prop­erly to off­load or pick up pas­sen­gers, forc­ing other driv­ers to swerve into the other lane. Or they sim­ply pull out on to the road, with­out in­di­cat­ing, with­out look­ing to see whether there are cars com­ing (which there usu­ally are, con­sid­er­ing the in­creased traf­fic), and invit­ing another ac­ci­dent. It’s no won­der the pub­lic can’t stand them and sel­dom give them a chance to merge into the traf­fic. The un­for­tu­nate truth is that we’ve lumped most pub­lic trans­port driv­ers to­gether. The cour­te­ous ones with reck­less ones, cre­at­ing a broad stereo­type of hor­ri­ble, rude, and in­con­sid­er­ate driv­ers. It’s a pleas­ant sur­prise to see a mini-bus in­di­cate and wait to be given a chance to go. Most times they don’t bother, or they let the in­di­ca­tor go once be­fore barg­ing their way in front of you, or they merge when they’re in­di­cat­ing left!

The thing is, it’s not just taxi driv­ers; the gen­eral pub­lic does it too. If they want to turn left, they pull out into the lane to block on-com­ing traf­fic and force the other driver to give them a chance to go. If some­one is com­ing the op­po­site way at speed, even within the speed limit and is forced them to stop sud­denly, well, some­one may get hit. A sud­den stop to avoid hit­ting some­one could eas­ily re­sult in a col­li­sion in­volv­ing the ve­hi­cle be­hind.

You’ll also see driv­ers sud­denly stop­ping to let pas­sen­gers off. Even though there is plenty room on the side to pull over, they don’t want to lose their im­por­tant spot in the line of traf­fic. Be­ing just a few cars be­hind would prob­a­bly send them men­tal, so no, they must hold ev­ery­one else up. Don’t get me started on peo­ple who like to take short cuts. Com­ing from Gros Islet go­ing into Rod­ney Bay on an af­ter­noon is a night­mare. Smart driv­ers de­cide to turn into Massy Stores Rod­ney Heights and take that road in front of Bay Gar­dens Ho­tel to come out of that junc­tion. Hey, dum­b­asses! You’re caus­ing more traf­fic! Those who stayed on the main road have to stop to let you come out be­cause you couldn’t stop to re­al­ize you’re ac­tu­ally caus­ing the traf­fic to slow down more. Nope, you can’t fig­ure that out at all. Same thing goes on a morn­ing head­ing up north. Driv­ers turn in by Corinth and come out by Bois d’Or­ange. And it’s not just one, two or even three cars. It’s more like seven and eight and nine! Again, my fel­low ge­nius coun­try­men— you’re slow­ing traf­fic down!

The main prob­lem comes back to the in­fras­truc­ture. We sim­ply do not have the roads to ac­com­mo­date as many ve­hi­cles as we have. There ei­ther is to be a limit to the num­ber of cars per house­hold or a limit to the num­ber of be­ing brought into the is­land. In any event we need to se­ri­ously con­sider ex­pand­ing our road sys­tems. Rant done! Side Rant: I must have been sleep­ing when the memo went out to a num­ber of St. Lu­cian driv­ers who de­cided that our weather is so hazy that they need to keep their fog lights on. Thanks you so much for tem­po­rar­ily blind­ing me! Ass­holes! Side Rant: I must have been sleep­ing when the memo went out to a num­ber of St. Lu­cian driv­ers who de­cided that our weather is so hazy that they need to keep their fog lights on. Thanks you so much for tem­po­rar­ily blind­ing me!

Per­haps it is time for the en­tire pop­u­la­tion to re­take their driv­ers li­cense test or do we just need more roads?

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