After I get this off my chest, I am going to feel a whole lot better but I doubt you will.
For it is my hope that you will be mad as hell and want to tell. We will get to that later so bear with me.
I have been writing about cars, driving, and traffic safety for more than 25 years. I got into by accident, no pun intended. I had been covering the often-grisly crime beat for some years when the late Vancouver Police Supt. John Lucy told me in the late 80s that he was transferring to the traffic division.
I blanched. This guy had set up the strike force and dealt with vice in the big city. “You want blood and guts, Morgan, come and talk to me in traffic,” he said dramatically.
I did and he was absolutely right. The needless carnage on our roads was, and is to this day, almost unbelievable. I say almost because the more you observe human nature the less incredible motoring mayhem appears.
Big John had a common sense response for such reckless behaviour: “Supper is served at the same time every night . . . . is it really worth the risk just so you can sit around and wait an extra five minutes before heading to the table?”
Simple math reveals that in order to shave even five minutes off a typical commute you have to exceed the speed limit excessively and run some very late reds.
That kind of driving drives me crazy and now we get to the nub of this column. Telling you what sends me off the edge is a form of therapy that invariably evolves into group therapy. Hence, our weekly “What Drives U Crazy?” spot in Driveway, in which we encourage you to reveal what poor driving habits, send you off the deep end.
Your correspondent also has a less selfish wish that by identifying this appalling behaviour we could educate the sources of our collective annoyance. I know that might be considered dreaming but let’s give it the old college try.
When I talk about what burns me at gatherings, people usually say “don’t get me started” then proceed to regale me with their pet peeves. As that is the purpose of this exercise, let me get you started!
Five things that drive me nuts, a short putt I know:
1. Those who either won’t move more than their front wheels into an intersection on a green light or remain behind the line.
2. Drivers who let cars stack up behind them because they want to make a left over a solid white centre line.
3. Weaver birds who race down the curb lane then cut into traffic when they near a parked car.
4. Impatient folks who try to swing around you dangerously as you proceed to park at the curbside.
5. People who signal a left as the light changes to green…
That last example makes me want to ram the offender through the intersection. Many more manouevres needle me. However, I’ll get off the couch now because I think I may have got you riled enough to share your road rage.
What Drives U Crazy? – Tell me. You will feel much better for having done so. I promise.