Dec. 8, 2016

What's your hurry?

I typically do not knowingly speed. I’ve been handed two speeding tickets over the years; both occurred when I was over the age of 50. Both occurred when I really thought I was going the speed limit but the speed limit dropped just moments before I was stopped by a police officer.

I do not consider myself an aggressive driver. In fact, I’ve been teased over the years for being too focused when I drive having both hands on the wheels the majority of time. My friends tell me that they wave at me only to watch me proceed through the intersection totally unaware of their frantic waves.

I must admit that people who travel 20 mph down a road marked for 40 mph irritate me. They especially irritate me when they insist on going 20 miles under the speed limit while remaining in the left lane as opposed to moving over into the right lane designated for slower traffic.

The type of driver who bothers me most, however, is the aggressive driver. Aggressive driving is an outer signal of an inner symptom. The underlying issue is ego and pride. People who think they are too good to wait their turn, too special to travel the speed limit, too busy to remain behind people obeying the law, and who choose to weave in and out of traffic as if their destination and time are more valuable than the rest of us are legally referred to as “aggressive drivers.”

Yesterday, while traveling down 13th Street in my city, I watched a young male drive speeding in a school zone. He became increasingly irritated that both myself and the car next to me insisted on obeying the law by sticking to 20 mph. The young man stomp on the gas pedal of his car and passed both myself and the other lawful driver by going around us in the opposite lanes facing the oncoming traffic. I thought to myself, “I certainly hope this guy isn’t a volunteer firefighter because if he is I will proudly tattle on him.” My husband is a DPVFD Safety Officer. I couldn’t imagine the young man endangering everyone around him, including school children, unless he was responding to an emergency.

Surprisingly, the young man did not make his way to one of the fire stations in my town. He actually turned on my street and continued speeding down the street until coming to a screeching halt just outside a neighbor’s house. I was tempted to roll down my window and ask, “What’s your hurry?” However, I didn’t do so knowing that it wouldn’t go well and I didn’t want to make waves for my family’s safety living just a few houses down.

The story doesn’t stop there. Less than two hours later, I pulled out of my driveway and onto my street headed to my next destination. No sooner did I pull out onto 13th Street than two young male drivers in two very new sports cars (probably purchased by their proud parents) sped past me apparently in a race. They were traveling well over 50 miles an hour in a 30 mph zone.

It is a well-known fact that 13th Street, San Augustine, and East Boulevard are being used as race tracks for many young people in our city. A young man was killed just a few weeks ago in an accident caused by street racing. I encourage all parents to sit down and confront their kids about their extracurricular driving activities. I encourage everyone else to watch out. Aggressive drivers and racing kids apparently could care less about the risk they take or the lives they endanger. It not only takes a village to raise children, the same village is required to teach and protect them.

“On some have compassion, using discernment. And others save with fear while pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” Jude 1:22-23

Note: The photo used is a free Adobe stock photo and does not depict an actual car accident.