Monday, December 10, 2007

An Open Letter to Los Angeles Drivers

Dear L.A. drivers,

Hi. I’m someone else on the road that, and I know this may come as a great shock to some of you, YOU DO NOT OWN…particularly those of you in a Mercedes or BMW. Just because you paid more money for your car, you still don’t have right-of-way at all times.

I know for some of you, it has been a while since you’ve read the DMV rules, and some of you may not ever have read them, so let me enlighten you:

A stop sign does not mean to simply put on the brakes, and once stopped, to go. A stop sign means that you do not have the right-of-way and should wait your turn! 4-way stop signs (I know these are confusing, but hang in there) mean that we all take turns.

If you are going to turn, there’s a little handy device called a blinker that should be used so that those either behind or oncoming to you can know that you will be turning. While it may seem like an awful lot of work to flip that handle, you never know when you might be the one waiting to make a left-turn only to find out the car for which you were waiting was turning, too, and you totally could have gone! Think of it as self-serving, if that helps.

Putting on said blinker doesn’t give you the right to go, however, if again…well, it just ain’t your turn yet!

Putting on said blinker from the far right lane does not mean that all the cars to the left of you will suddenly disappear so that you can turn left from there.

Turn the bleeping blinker off once you’ve changed lanes!

When there is traffic, and people are merging onto the freeways, what works best is if we let the cars in one-by-one. We’ve all been waiting a long time and letting that one car in is not going to kill anyone!

When there is traffic, riding my bumper is not going to change the fact that there are about a million cars in front of me. I can only go as fast as the cars in front of me.

When on surface streets, revving by me when I’m already going 40 in a 40-mile-zone is only going to mean that I get to laugh at you when we reach the stoplight and are indeed face-to-face again.

When there is a picture of a U-turn with the circle and the line going through it, it means NO U-TURNS ALLOWED. I’ve never seen a disclaimer under it that says, “oh, except when you really, really want to.”

If you’re running so late that you don’t have time to wait for the cars that have the right-of-way to go before you merge in, guess what? That’s completely your problem and not mine.

While I appreciate the drive-through service of flowers and oranges by the side of the road (and I generally love all drive-throughs – Starbucks, if you’re listening…more, please!), only buy if you’re prepared with the money in hand and you keep an eye on the lights.

Whatever happened to hugging the curb when you’re going to turn? That was a nice little gesture to the cars behind that aren’t turning. Can that please make a come-back? I’ve tried to re-ignite the trend, but it just doesn’t seem to be catching on!

So that’s my list for today. I’m sure I’ve neglected a few items that will most likely occur on tonight’s drive home, but I’ll try not to obsess about this. At a certain point, however, something has to be said!

Thanks to anyone who heeds this list in their future driving…most especially if you’re driving in L.A.!



1 comment:

Donna said...

Amen. You've articulated perfectly lots of things I've wanted to say.

May I add the following: Just because you and your child are late to school is no reason to drive 40 mph in a 25 mph zone. The speed limit has been set because there are OTHER CHILDREN about. Is getting your kid there on time worth endangering his friends?

Red zones around the school are there for a purpose. If you park your big fat SUV in a crosswalk, you are not only making it hard for kids to cross the street, but you are blocking the view of other drivers who won't be able to see them.

I don't care how many cars are backed up on the street or how late you are getting to work -- when you make a U-turn in the middle of the street, you are making the traffic problem WORSE.

I have more. But I'll stop now :)