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Bad Drivers

Ok…I’m tired.  Tired of drivers who don’t pay attention and endanger other’s lives.  Driving too fast, weaving in and out of lanes, speeding through yellow lights that are in reality red, and, the big one, gabbing on their cell phones rather than paying attention.

Normally I just stare in disbelief at other’s bad driving habits or yell something at them, which they can’t hear but makes me feel a little better.  But this past week, something happened that really astounded me.

I was driving to work on Thursday morning and waited to turn onto the street I work on in Portland.  It is against the law to turn on red at that corner during certain hours because it is a school zone.  So I patiently waited, making note of the gray car behind me.  I usually look because a lot of people don’t know you can’t turn on red during school and they are cursing you out.  It’s kind of fun to watch in the rear view mirror. But this woman was busy chatting on her cell phone so she didn’t seem upset to wait.

The light turned green, I turned the corner, speeding up a little but then slowing down within a half a block because I was approaching the school.  There is a crossing guard on the corner with a fluorescent green vest and a large stop sign.  If that isn’t a big enough clue, there is a flashing sign above the road saying that it is a school zone and the speed limit is 15 mph while flashing.  And it was flashing.  So I slowed down to 15 mph.

The woman behind me slowed down.  Had to because I did.  I’m creeping along, slowly, watching for kids who are waiting to cross the road (not all of them use the cross walk or the corner with the crossing guard).  All of a sudden I realize that the little gray car is passing me!  On the right!! Right in front of the school.  Now there are only two lanes on this road, one heading north and one heading south.  It’s a residential area.  Yet she is passing me.  Which means she is going faster than 15 mph, which is illegal. And passing me on the right, which is illegal.

I drive a mini van.  She can’t see around me to see if there are kids crossing.  But she is too busy chatting on her cell phone to even pay attention.  Once she passed me, she kept driving to the  other side of the building next to the school and pulled into the driveway towards the back parking lot.

Is there a cop around to witness this? No.  Of course not.  It’s the end of the school year. They only sit at that school zone at the beginning of the year to remind people to slow down.  Because we know that the flashing lights aren’t a reminder enough.

So I e-mailed the Portland Police Department.  I reported what I saw in detail.  They e-mailed back and said they would do something about it.  It will be interesting to see, on my way to work tomorrow, if a cop is sitting there watching the traffic.  If not, I will e-mail them again.

As I said, I am tired.  Tired of inconsiderate people who are an accident waiting to happen.  Then when they mow over a kid in front of a school, they will be crying on the news about how it wasn’t their fault.  They didn’t see the kid.  Well, I would say, hang up the phone and pay attention!

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