This week my sweet, sweet nephew did an awful thing and turned 16. The whole ordeal put me in one of those “life is precious / we don’t realize what we’ve got ‘til it’s gone / youth is innocence” sort of moods, especially now that he’s going to be behind the wheel of a car.
That mood lasted all of five minutes as I began thinking about all of the hazardous drivers I’ve encountered lately and how much I’d like to follow them vigilante style and shake them for their careless actions.
I don’t maintain that I’m driver of the year; but some of the things I’ve witnessed lately makes me wonder if people are actually being taught the rules of the road or if they’re somehow cheating / getting lucky on their driving exam.
I know I’ve ranted about certain driving pet peeves before so just consider this a continuation of that.
Recently I was descending the Intracoastal Bridge on Hwy. 308 when a jackalope in a black Nissan 370z sports car flew around me. He then proceeded to illegally pass about 13 more cars in a five-mile jog...on highway 308 where there is no shoulder. Seriously are you trying to be dubbed Moron Andretti? The only slightly amusing thing about the occurrence is that I ended up two cars behind him when he turned off the highway and probably had half a tank more gas saved than he did. I stuck my tongue out at him but I’m sure he couldn’t see me through his blacked out windows.
On the same day, I kid you not, I got stuck at the Cote Blanche Bridge (now on the LA 1 side) because the waterway was open for boat traffic. I don’t really mind open bridges as it gives me time to finish my makeup, apply nail polish and catch up on Facebook rather than having to do it while driving (I’m being factitious here, don’t flip out).
Again some impatient motorist in a brightly colored jeep decided to drive on the shoulder from somewhere near the Cote Blanche Connection road all the way past the line of cars in order to save all of five minutes. An awesome thing happened next. The bridge opened to vehicular traffic and the southbound line of cars began moving while whack job was driving on the shoulder, ergo our two-lane road became a three-lane road. He ended up stopping on the shoulder about three car-lengths from the traffic signal and waited forever to reenter because no one would let him do so. Sweet justice: he ended up further back than he would have been had he just waited in line like everyone else.
Sidebar about this particular area: When people are waiting to turn onto the Cote Blanche Bridge from the LA 1 southbound lane, why do they not think to turn into the COYC street and line up there to go straight onto the bridge so as to not backup traffic for three miles thus forcing people who are not even wanting to use the bridge to wait on it?
I totally understand that people may drive erratically when they are going to the scene of an emergency or their wife is in the passenger seat about to pop out a kid, etc. But there is this button found usually on the dashboard or above the steering wheel on all vehicles made after 1972 that people use to alert others when they are in an emergency situation. I’m not sure about the legalities on hazard lights so don’t call me if you’re using it illegally and get arrested. I’m just going with the “general rule of acceptance” on this issue.
And lastly, there are a few geniuses I’ve come across lately who think having those black headlight / taillight lamp covers is totally cool, bruh. Well it’s not! They’re hard to see when you’re slowing / using a turn signal. I hope you get a ticket.
The main thing to remember when driving is to take a break from being an idiot. I know at times we all have the superman complex but having it while driving is definitely not the smartest time to test your vulnerability. Life is fragile; treat it as such. I could probably go on and on about each driving faux pas I see committed on a daily basis; but I’ll save it for another column, maybe when my niece turns 16.
The above opinions and information expressed represent those solely of Laurie Laine Coleman and do not reflect The Lafourche Gazette publication or staff. Readers can express their opinions by writing a letter to the editor. To suggest a topic to Laurie Laine Coleman email ads@TLGnewspaper.com.
Posted on Fri, September 21, 2012
by Laurie Laine Coleman, Opinion Columnist