Not Ready for the Turn Signal

surprise.jpgPeople need to learn responsibility.

And it begins in the left-hand turning lane.

Being the first one in line in the turning lane is an important responsibility. Not everyone can handle it. Every driver behind you is counting on you to get off to a quick start, because as everyone knows, that arrow won’t say green for very long (turning lanes get no respect). A few seconds, and then it’s yellow…and then gone. And drivers must wait for the next round.

Too many drivers, first in line, just can’t handle the pressure. They space off, consult their cellphones, tune the radio, look around. Then, when the green arrow appears, they fumble around and cost several cars the chance to make it through the light. Too often, drivers don’t even get going until the arrow is yellow. And then there are a few hardened laggards who don’t move until you honk at them. Such persons should have their licenses revoked, if not their citizenship.

It’s especially problematic for stick-shift drivers, who too frequently don’t have the stick in the proper gear for starting off. When they come to a stop, they thoughtlessly leave the car in 4th gear (or whatever), so when the light turns green, there is a long pause while they shift into first gear. Stick-shift drivers should undergo special testing before having licenses issues or renewed. Think how many hundreds, or thousands, of man-hours are wasted at stoplights simply because someone didn’t downshift before the arrow turned green.

Responsibility doesn’t end with the first car. The second and third cars must also be ready. I’m talking about gaps. When the first car takes off, the second car should be right behind it, and the third one right behind it. I am obsessive about this, always following closely behind the car in front of me. A large gap between cars means that at least one driver, further back, won’t make it through the light, because somebody is meandering, thinking only of themselves and not of their fellow travelers.

The turn lane is serious business. You’ve got to be ready. You’ve got to carry your weight.

I feel strongly about this.

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2 Comments to Not Ready for the Turn Signal

  1. Tom Datema

    Next could you address those drivers getting off north bound 69 onto Jefferson/24 east, who stop at the yield sign at the bottom of the exit ramp, even though no one is coming and there is a lane that allows you to continue and and merge into traffic at your leisure?

    And yes, I feel the same way about left turns.

  2. Jamie Mosier

    The worst is at Glenbrook Mall at Christmas time…the line on Coliseum turning left onto Coldwater…I think this every year…and have this exact same rant every year early December!!!

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