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Perhaps I am completely mad, hopelessly mortal, or foolishly mistaken that road rules actually need exist. I know I took driver’s ed…a week of indoctrination I suppose by those who would like to impose rules and regulations on the road…imagine! Any better informed driver in the “ATL” knows driver’s ed is just for wimps. It may come with the perk of more informed driving but ha, who gives when daddy’ll buy the first car, accidents are just part of the learning experience and most importantly, we’re all invincible hear, right? It’s the warm air and sunny skies…there’s a term for this resistance to road rule oppression and death. I think they call it “mobile freedom of expression.”
According to many Atlanta drivers, how they drive is merely an expression/extension of themselves and their cars. For example, to be followed right on your tail while going 75 miles/hr or more on the freeway is merely an expression by the car behind of attraction and good will. If it happens to be a tractor trailer close on your heels, do not stress. The driver is simply letting you know that he’s had too much meth, hasn’t slept in ten days as a result and could use a little pick me up. Shake your fist at him in extreme anger and he will be happy to careen around your car, a tiny grasshopper in his wake, only to pass in front of you a second later, narrowly missing you. No worries. He only wanted a little excitement in his dull day and likes to demonstrate he is king of the road.
This brings me to an important point Atlanta drivers must all remember…to leave a substantial space between your car and the one in front of you while driving at normal speed or in traffic is plain foolishness! Not only does it mean other cars can get in that space but it seems to deter moderate or severe collisions which, let’s face it, isn’t any fun! We’ve got to give the emergency workers something to do and the news something to report. What is more exciting then seeing a mangled car and an array of flashing lights on the road or T.V.? Exactly!
Lastly, there is always time to drive through a red light. They will tell you in the driver’s manual that red means slow to a complete stop but there is always room and time to negotiate. In reality, while yellow means slow down, red implies proceeding with caution. For those of you who choose to go through the red at top speed…more power to you! This daring behavior shows you believe in yourself, embrace your immortality and are an independent thinker. Hats off to you!
Four way stops, stop signs, school bus stop signs, etc have not been discussed but just remember what you have already learned and put into practice every day…and don’t let those little kiddies crossing the street with their roller back packs deter you from your beliefs. The flashing sign may say stop but they’re young and can run. They’ll have to.
I guess I’ve gotten a little off track here. What I’m really wondering is, will a “Baby on Board” sticker hung from the back window of my mama wagon keep my son and I any safer when he is born? Am I the only driver in this city who feels I am putting my life in jeopardy every day by simply driving to the grocery store or other nearby destination? Am I just a prude to practice cautionary measures?