Rules of the road apply to all

Published 12:26 am Sunday, January 8, 2012

By Gillian Pollock

It has come to my attention that speed-limit signs, proper traffic flow indicators and just general courtesy on the roads escape most people these days. I truly believe the signs that are posted or painted are not for mere decoration as one travels down the road in a vehicle. They do not dot the countryside to add interest to an otherwise boring stretch of road. They are there as guidelines, gentile reminders to abide by and follow accordingly.

For those of you who abide by the rules of the road and parking lots, please do not take this personally; and I apologize now for my tirade.

For those of you who do not, take heed of my words!

I have decided that I am going to practice my primal screaming techniques at the next individual who chooses not to use his or her turn signal. I mean, seriously, you probably paid an extra $174 for that turn signal in your car, and it wasn’t optional at the time of purchase, so use the darn thing.

Arrows painted on the pavement and showing vehicles which directions to take are there to allow for proper traffic flow. What ails people that they choose not to follow them? The last thing I need is someone headed the wrong way down a lane in a parking lot, and then try to stare me down when I am following the painted arrows. Seriously, how rude.

Better yet, I love those people who choose to pull on through into an empty parking space in front of them. What was wrong with the one you were in? I was waiting for the one you pulled into; oh, and while I was waiting, yes, I had my turn signal on indicating I wanted it!

Now, a yellow light is another subject. I, for one, believe in the speed-up-and-pass-under-it-before-it-turns-red theory. I do not subscribe to the slow-down-and-stop theory. However, I have never sped through a red light. That’s just insane and a surefire way to get yourself in an accident.

As for texting while driving a car: not necessary. Nobody is that indispensable or important that he or she needs to read, answer or text someone back while driving. If you do that, in my opinion, you should have your license revoked — period, end of discussion.

Music is a happy diversion. It is to be played at a level that you can hear what else is going on around you. It can occasionally be cranked when the best tune ever is on, and you want to seat dance and sing in your vehicle. It is not meant to be so loud that it vibrates the vehicles next to you with a thump, bump and thump. This noise and vibration created by the sub-woofer of the car behind you leaves you questioning whether or not it is the car behind you or a stealth bomber pulling up anticipating takeoff.

I guess I think that the way people do and don’t follow the rules of the road is indicative of the society we live in. Slow it down, relax and go with the flow. Life will be a whole lot easier if you do.

And, besides that, I don’t want to have to take a Valium just to deal with all the knuckleheads behind the wheels of cars.

A Yankee with a Southern soul, Gillian Pollock is a wife, mother of two ever-challenging children and director of Christian Formation at Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Washington.