It is amazing to me how we forget the basic rules of the road after driving for a while. There used to be respect and consideration for others on the roadways, but today that has changed drastically. The biggest thing I have seen is that attitudes have overtaken courtesy. We are all in a hurry to get where we are going but we need to get back to courtesy on the roadways.
Much of that starts with training. Most people getting their licenses these days are taking some type of training course, whether it is for a basic license or a commercial license. So my question is what are they being taught? Are they being thought to tailgate people on the highway, are they being taught to drive in the left lane even if no other cars are present? From what I have seen this seems to be the main stay of how people drive these days. Recently on returning from a business trip in Windsor Ontario I was amazed at how many people are driving blindly down the road without any regard as to who is travelling around them. They don’t move over when driving in the left lane after passing someone, they don’t look in their mirrors, they tailgate or use their vehicles to bully others, and many are still using cell phones and technology while driving down the road. Have we gotten to the point where laws, respect, and common sense are over ruled by our own need to hurry to where we need to be? Hey you don’t have to believe what I say, just take a look around you. Even on social media the other day it showed a truck passing a stopped school bus on the right shoulder of the road while it stopped to pick up kids, what was that driver thinking?
So what is the solution? Heck if I knew that I would be the Minister of Transportation, but here is what we should be doing. We need to start with the individual, we need to begin with ourselves. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time as the joke states. We need to change our driving habits one person at a time. Start with yourself, do you use your cell phone while driving? If so make a pact with yourself to not use your phone while driving. Are you one of those people that are always rushing and running late? Work on leaving earlier so that you have more time to follow the rules of the road. Are you one of those people that stay in the left lane and never move out of the way for other vehicles, then it is time to learn proper lane management and do your best to stay off to the right when not passing others. Some will argue that you can’t conduct proper lane management on the QEW in Toronto and I would give the benefit of the doubt for that area, but I see the same thing happening out on the open road. If you forget to move back over then that means you are not paying attention to your driving. If you’re an instructor lets start teaching our students the proper way to operate on the roadways. Let’s start teaching the basics of road courtesy and let’s get our roadways back to where they used to be before life became so hurried.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a transportation consultant and author of the books Driven to a Drive and Running by the Mile. More information can be found on his website at www.outridgeenterprises.ca