Sunday, March 14, 2021

It's a stop sign. You have to stop.


I walk in the morning. Usually very early morning. That was when I used to run, too.

Back in my running days, though, I don't think I ever noticed how horribly people drive as much as I do now that I'm walking.

(Fair warning that this is an old man rant and you should get off my lawn immediately.)

When I'm walking in areas without sidewalks, I naturally give oncoming cars as wide a berth as possible. That's not only what you're supposed to do as a walker, it's also the smart thing to do.

As I tell my kids when I'm teaching them to drive, always assume people are going to do something stupid. You will seldom be wrong.

The most blatant offense, in my experience, is the way drivers just roll through stop signs. I mean, they barely tap on the brakes sometimes. They just go, almost as if the stop sign isn't there.

This is stupid, illegal, and selfish.

Now granted, when I see this, it's usually something like 5:30 in the morning. Drivers see no other cars around (and oftentimes it's clear they don't see me despite my reflective clothing), so they probably think nothing of it.

Two things about that:

(1) I am not aware of driving laws being suspended during the early morning hours. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

(2) You may assume there are no other vehicles or pedestrians in the immediate area, but you don't know that for sure. You just don't, no matter how much you think you do. A car or a walker/runner can be in a blind spot right at the moment you're looking, and without realizing it you will suddenly be barreling down on them as you blast through the stop sign. I have seen this happen, both to me and to others.

You're obligated to stop at the sign, no matter what time of day it is and no matter what you think you see around you. Just stop. It will add maybe 4 seconds to your day.

Plus, seriously, IT'S THE LAW. I hate to sound self-righteous about this because in no way am I the perfect driver, but really...just stop. Treat that stop sign the way you used to treat it during driver's ed when your instructor was sitting next to you.

And while I have your attention, use your turn signals, too, OK? No matter which direction you're turning, no matter what lane you're moving into, no matter if you think there is no traffic around and no people to be seen, use the turn signal. Please don't be That Driver.

Stop at stop signs and use your turn signals. That's all I'm asking.

I'm so demanding!

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