Thursday, April 14, 2011

Self-Righteousness Alert

When you do something like driving the speed limit, it is easy to get overly self-righteous so it is good to get reminders not to do that. This morning, I passed a stopped school bus. A woman had stopped coming the other direction and gave me a look that could be either horror (like I had just run over her son) or righteous indignation as she screamed "NO" at me through her closed window. The problem was that the school bus was not stopping to pick up kids at a bus stop. As it pulled over to the side and put flashers on, I waited a few seconds, but it never put it's stop sign out and there were no kids in sight. It was just stopping for some other reason, and it is perfectly legal to pass a school bus that is just parking. This is great reminder to me to remember that even when I'm right, I'm not always right. I need to keep in check any indignation or horror over someone going a bit faster than I am going or even someone passing me in questionable circumstances. Sometimes, I might not be right.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Illegal Passing Epidemic

I think it's been about four times in the last week that I have been passed illegally. I wrote about a couple of those times here and here, and it happened again this morning. This was the least dangerous one, but it is still a disturbing trend. This time it happened within half a mile of my house. He got behind me on one of the 25 m.p.h., and I knew he was trouble when he started shaking his head, but he seemed to be distracted by his coffee so I thought he would back off. We turned onto a 30 m.p.h. road, he got close, and took another sip of his coffee. Then he went around me on the right. The road is pretty wide at that point, but it is still one lane--if they painted narrow lines, it possibly could be two lanes, but it is only that wide for about 500 ft so it's not worth it. Of course, like the others, his passing didn't buy him more than 5 seconds. We got to a light that happened to be green, and he turned right onto a road with two real lines in each direction. Even if I were turning ahead of him, he could have legally passed me immediately in the left lane.

Even though this episode was pretty minor, it is part of a really disturbing trend. My whole point of driving the speed limit is to drive more safely. It's as if these people are trying to balance out my added safety by driving more dangerously.