Several years ago, I wrote a piece concerning brain-dead drivers . . . you know, the type we see every day; they’re breathing and they’re behind the wheel of a potentially lethal weapon, but they’re simply not “with” us.
And please understand that I do not classify myself as a perfect driver. But let the record show that I’ve been driving for 56-years, and during that time, I’ve never been cited for a moving violation.
And I’ve been involved in only one accident, along with another innocent driver. It occurred when an 87-year-old woman suddenly jumped a red light into oncoming traffic. She was arrested on several charges, not the least of which was her FOURTH DUI.
Well, here it is some 7-years later, and nothing has changed. I had to run a few errands this past Friday. The trip was less than 12-miles from my home, and I encountered THREE of them.
Each of these cases involved drivers refusing to make a right-hand turn on a red light, even though HUGE signs with HUGE letters and symbols made it perfectly legal to GO.
So I decided to revisit that old piece, update it; and put it out again in hopes that some of you readers who claim psychic ability may actually be able to commune with the brain-dead.
For the record, I want you to know that I realize that society must have rules that prohibit drivers (like ME) from killing other drivers just because they appear to be, well… STUPID.
And this includes drivers whose lines of sight are dead level with the tops of their steering wheels while driving in the LEFT lane at absolutely glacial speed. But, we can’t just run them off the road.
Doing so would violate the various states’ aggressive driving laws. The police hate this. They get very snotty about, too. “ROAD RAGE,” they’d tell the judge.
But there are other times when SOME drivers zip right past the occasional momentary pause in consciousness, right into the land of abject stupidity that borders on BRAIN-DEATH.
Driving for miles with a turn signal on certainly qualifies. So does making left hand turns from the RIGHT lane because they don’t understand that, for some 3-lane roads, the MIDDLE lane is for drivers making left turns from either direction.
Then, there is my ALL TIME FAVORITE: drivers that will NOT make a right turn on a red light, even though they’d need binoculars to see the nearest approaching vehicle!
Why won’t they make the turn? Who knows; but the primary one is STUPIDITY. And, if YOU are one of these drivers, YOU ARE STUPID! You may even be brain-dead.
We are a country with right-hand traffic, which means that we drive on the RIGHT. We’re also a country that permits people who can’t read to obtain drivers’ licenses.
Mind you, I’m not blaming the drivers who can’t read. They’re not the one’s causing all the hold-ups. I explain this below.
But, because we’re a country with right-hand traffic, our lawmakers changed the motor vehicle codes to permit right-hand turns on red lights AFTER a full precautionary stop.
They made these changes decades ago to keep traffic moving where it’s appropriate and safe.
At traffic lights where no signs to the contrary exist, it is legal to make a right-hand turn in accordance with the rule above.
While motor vehicle manuals explain all of this clearly, manuals are useless to those who can’t read.
So, to accommodate such drivers, states use signs with both written instructions AND symbols, at traffic lights where they want to modify the general rule. The signs are generally rectangular, white, and ALWAYS reflective.
Click here for some images of these traffic instructions. But please note that sometimes a RED arrow pointing to the right will replace the solid RED light.
This arrow means that you may NOT turn right if that red arrow is showing on the traffic signal.
And at some less-traveled intersections, the RED light, or the RED arrow, may be intentionally set to BLINKING; this means that you may make the right turn in either case, as long as you come to a complete precautionary stop.
But, as I wrote above, I’m not indicting drivers who can’t read; they’re usually NOT the ones causing the problems. The true culprits are the dummies who CAN read but don’t understand the symbols.
Granted, none of this stuff amounts to grounds for righteous justifiable homicide—as opposed to those who think shooting people for calling them names or giving them a menacing look is justified.
So I’m not, even remotely, suggesting that we should be able to shoot seemingly brain-dead drivers.
However, these things cause our blood pressure to rise to dangerous levels. The veins in our temples often bulge to twice their normal diameter. And it becomes virtually impossible to control the urge to flip the “bird” while lip-syncing highly descriptive terms.
But, again, none of this amounts to grounds for justifiable homicide, but as a driving society, we should seriously consider changing our criminal code to include a felony charge of inciting to JUSTIFIABLE ROAD RAGE.
I’m still working on the specifications tosuch a charge. But in the meantime, perhaps we could come up with some sort of non-lethal, hood-mounted reminder for such people to get out of the way.
For me, the 1,000 milliwatt green laser that I built myself would do the trick nicely. The next time I’m stuck at a traffic light behind some yahoo who knows how to read but hasn’t, ZZZZAAAAPPPP! I’m just sayin’…