Saturday, March 16, 2013

Driving Miss Crazy

If you think I am a pain in the ass as a pedestrian, you should see me behind the wheel. Unlike many New Yorkers, I drive pretty regularly. Which is not to say I am good at it, but compared to some of the other drivers in this city, I should be eligible for a few awards. The more I drive, the angrier I get. If there were road rage Olympics, I'd Usain Bolt the hell out of them.

So, a funny thing happened in the news this week. A Maryland woman got a ticket for failing to drive in the right lane as she was driving two miles under the speed limit. This is funny for a few reasons. 
1-It qualified as news, which is a clear indication that the media has just given up entirely and is no longer even trying to serve the purpose for which it was created - delivering information that people actually NEED, and 
2- It warranted a full group discussion on the Today Show, which in my eyes is a fair assessment of the journalistic integrity shown by the Today Show. Sure, the story is no "Girl That Can't Stop Hiccuping," but it is riveting in its own way.

On any given day, my mom and countless others like her can be found citing the "pundits" of morning television. The groundbreaking nuggets of information these "pundits" disseminate include: why we should be scared sh!tless about common household items, why something or other is going to kill us imminently, why we shouldn't trust various people - guilty or merely accused, why a certain celebrity is bat-sh!t crazy, and in this particular case, why Matt Lauer, the show he represents, and the industry that show represents, all suck.

Shifty eyes, shady character
I don't care much for Matt Lauer. I once heard a rumor he cheats on his beautiful wife, which is, indeed, just a rumor, but I can't get past it. Then there was the whole Ann Curry debacle. No one wrongs the lovely Ann Curry and gets away with it in my book. She made that show legitimate, and I have stopped watching it since her departure. Partially because it lacks the substance it once had (not much to begin with), and partially because I'd rather watch Sid the Science Kid in the morning. Now that is a show worth mentioning, with their message of inter-racial harmony and devotion to science education for our children. But I will save my sociological analysis of children's programming for another time. The main reason I dislike him is because I believe that all news people, especially those with a national platform, should be unbiased, and I find his presenting to be anything but unbiased.  

But back to the story: Matt Lauer gathered his "pundits" for a segment discussing the ticket issued to the unnamed woman for driving too slow. My mom told me all about 'The Great Debate,' as NO ONE will ever call it. The crackpot team of professionals got to chatting and Lauer took the position that she should not have received the ticket, just a warning. Of course, you and I know better. Matt, you could not be more wrong.

Normal driving rules, and many a highway sign state very clearly that the left lane is not intended for regular driving. It is intended for passing. Driving slow in the left lane impedes the flow of traffic. There are few things as frustrating to a driver as people that drive slower than the speed limit in the fast lane. This ticket was not only justified, but a glorious tribute to all of those who have suffered the indifference of the left lane "cruiser." Regardless of whether it was in the interest of safety (the driver said she had concerns about the windy conditions, so she slowed down), she should have moved over first. A driver should be able to drive as fast or slow as they want, but do it in the right lane. Let this be a lesson to you all, and therefore serve some greater purpose: bad driving will not be tolerated. The left lane is for passing only, fast passing to be precise. Let's keep things moving.

Rules for passing on the left are necessary when you are walking too. For more on that, see my post: Road Rules. I may be angry, but at least I'm consistent.

I am also going to call bullsh!t on the driver for not releasing her name. It sounds like she hand-delivered the story to the news agencies. Yes, I am holding out hope that no journalist would ever seek out such drivel. Hey lady, if you are bold enough to go to the news with it, hike up your skirt and tell us your name.

Oh yes feminists, please get fired up. Let's face it, this sh!t does happen to the ladies a heck of a lot more than the men. I have a solid working knowledge of stereotypes. I have to admit, in some cases (mostly related to driving) they exist for a reason: women, the elderly, taxi cab drivers... you get my point. There are a bunch of people out there making it hard to do away with these stereotypes altogether. But don't direct your feminist anger at me, direct it at the sh!tty lady drivers who won't even step forward and admit who they are.

But back to the story of the non-speeding speeding ticket. I am so damn happy to hear about it. I want to shake the hand of the Maryland Police Officer who gave it to her. Enforcing rules that help us move more efficiently and help alleviate frustration is an honorable thing. As opposed to traffic cops, who do the exact opposite. So I salute that individual here.
I'm pretty sure I have a lot more to say about the many causes of road rage, but that is enough for today.

Don't drive like a turd.


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