July 27, 2005
Shortly after I got my first driver's license in the mid-1970s, Illinois, along with most of the rest of the country passed a law making it legal to turn right at a stop light when it was red, provided you stopped first and no one was approaching. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately most people are just large children in need of adult supervision, especially when they are behind the wheel of a car.
Increasingly I find that driver's think right turn on red means they have the right of way over traffic approaching on the cross street; that they don't need to stop or give way to moving traffic. Just in the past week I have seen two near accidents caused by some cow head blowing through his/her red light to turn right in front of moving traffic that had the right of way.
That driving is a privilege is lost on these cretins. Sharing the road and defensive driving have become quaint anachronisms. Today's take-no-prisoners style of driving endangers every one on the road. Contributing to this problem is the hurry-up attitude our society has about everything. No one is content to merely drive with the flow of traffic any more. Our highways, especially around large metropolitan areas, have become race tracks. People will drive outrageously just to pass a single vehicle. It seems that in America today winners are good, losers are bad, and everything is a contest.
We are a nation of self-indulgent, spoiled brats in desperate need of some maturity. Unfortunately, I don't see the US growing up any time soon.