Driv­ing my mov­ing weapon de­fen­sively

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween driver and driver as well as driver and pedes­tri­ans should be more than just a cour­tesy, it should be es­sen­tial to se­cu­rity on our road­ways. Driv­ing my car, my four thou­sand pound weapon, safely is paramount. It de­serves all the re­spect and at­ten­tion I can muster. Turn sig­nals, traf­fic signs and stop lights are dif­fer­ent ways to help all in­volved com­mu­ni­cate and pro­tect not only our loved ones, but oth­ers too.

Turn sig­nals have al­most be­come a thing of the past. You can still find the lever on the left side of your steer­ing col­umn. It can eas­ily be found if you look hard enough, but I won­der how many ac­tu­ally look. My feel­ings are, turn sig­nals were in­vented to let oth­ers know what my in­ten­tions are. If I’m turn­ing onto to the same road that you’re turn­ing off of, I can use my sig­nal in­di­ca­tor to in­form you of my de­ci­sions. At that point you can go about your busi­ness and I can do the same.

Slow­ing down and coast­ing through a stop sign, is not com­ing to a com­plete stop. Com­ing to a com­plete stop and scan­ning ev­ery di­rec­tion gives me the chance to hold off any pos­si­ble ac­ci­dents. While only slow­ing down to look to my left, while I’m still mov­ing to the right, gives me a per­fect op­por­tu­nity to run into the back of a bro­ken down ve­hi­cle or an­other driver that doesn’t use the ac­cel­er­a­tion lane for its in­tended use.

When a traf­fic light is green, it means I have per­mis­sion to move my four thou­sand pound weapon through an in­ter­sec­tion, but it does not mean it’s safe to do so. Just be­cause the other driver has a red light doesn’t mean they’re go­ing to stop. Twice in my life, as I started through an in­ter­sec­tion, I was within inches of be­ing broad­sided. In my opin­ion both times were near death ex­pe­ri­ences. I was prob­a­bly close to a heart at­tack both times as I saw my life pass be­fore my eyes. As a re­sult of th­ese close en­coun­ters, I learned to look both ways, be­fore I cross the street just like mom tried to teach me.

When I first re­ceived my learn­ers per­mit in 1969, there was a tele­vi­sion ad re­lay­ing, “Watch out for the other guy.” This meant, I might hold off an ac­ci­dent by stay­ing vig­i­lant of other four thou­sand pound weapons. As time goes on, the amount of cars and drivers on our high­ways grows by leaps and bounds. The say­ing ‘Watch out for the other guy’ should be more preva­lent in today’s busy world, than any other time.

Jim McDon­ald, Port To­bacco

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