Once upon a very long time ago there was “comic strip” called “There Oughta Be a Law”. The basic premise of this split panel strip was to show common annoyances in every day life and offer humorous solutions. Since I am not an illustrator, nor do I have what might be considered a “normal” sense of humor, we shall muddle on with humorless verbal illustrations of common problems encountered while driving and offer some suggestions to rectify them.
Slow Drivers… These are not to be confused with those traveling at or near speed limits is school zones, residential areas or controlled access highways ‑ even if their speed is not quite fast enough for us. These are the people plying the highways fifteen or twenty miles per hour under the posted limit. You know, the ones that make you disengage the cruise control as you close on them at a safe and sane seventy‑three miles per hour because they refuse to yield the passing lane. Punishment for a first offender should be little more than a warning… “Keep up with traffic, or else”. A second offense should bring a somewhat firmer penalty. Perhaps an optical scanning automatic cruise control that forces the driver to stay on the posted speed limit coupled with steering control keeping them in the slow lane. Any third offense would meet with a severe penalty such as being pushed down the road by a fully loaded triple trailer combination at eighty miles an hour.
Yard Sale Yahoos… We have all seen them, swerved to avoid them and perhaps saluted them with one of several obscene gestures. They cruise down the roads and residential streets of this nation at between thirty and forty‑five miles an hour swiveling their heads from side to side searching for the signs…Yard Sale, Garage Sale, Estate Sale… any kind of sale. Normally noticing the telltale sign fifty feet beyond the sale location, they slam on the brakes, jam the transmission into reverse and floor the accelerator. Sometimes they make a high speed “U‑Turn” without benefit of signaling lest we who follow will detour from our own path to beat them to the best goodies at the sale. Never mind the simple response to having missed a turnoff by going around the block. Punishment for this offense must be severe. A first offense would warrant a prohibition from all similar type sales for a period of three months followed by a license suspension for another three months. Second offenders must lose their driving privilege for life and be forbidden to “sale” for the same period. Perhaps being forced to wear an electric avoidance collar could be used for reinforcement.
Lane Marking Ignorers… We all make the occasional mistake and find ourselves in the wrong lane at an intersection; turning lane when we wish to go straight, through lane when we really want to turn. Those of us with active brain cells either indicate our dilemma to the adjacent driver or manage to follow the lane marking and still find our way to the intended destination. There are others, however, who are intent on proving their worthiness as racers. You know them, after a quick glance your direction their eyes are glued to the signal and their knuckles are white on the wheel. Green light and pedal to the metal, eyes ahead, and vehicle tracking towards your front fender. If we are not hit, we simply yield to the miscreant and watch their satisfied smile in their rearview mirror as they speed away. Enough… next time shift into low, grip that wheel and nail it. Perhaps finding themselves headed toward the ditch or into oncoming traffic will cure their problem.
High Beam Hooligans… A dark moonless night and a deserted stretch of road. The perfect reasons for using our high beams. Not to the High Beam Hooligan! Far better to follow you in traffic with those beams blinding you in the mirrors, or coming at you and forgetting what being flashed means. By all means keep those beams focused in our faces. Might I suggest that these offenders be subjected to a small accessory easily added to our vehicles? Mount an aimable fifty thousand candlepower spotlight to your car. If the other driver cannot take the hint from your flashing beams, just nail him with the spot and call it a lesson in courtesy.