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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Take Responsibility, Too
Here it is not even 24 hours later, and I'm inspired. It was my morning drive that did it.

Months ago, Jim noticed a trend and shared it with me. I accused him of exaggerating. I hereby officially apologize and now totally buy into it. I did notice these occurrences when he pointed them out to me, but it took two recent events to completely validate his totally unscientific observation.

About two weeks ago, I was driving from my school to Sera's preschool. To get there, I have to drive down Main Street in the small town where I work. All small town main streets are similar, but none more so than those in the midwest. If you've seen one midwestern small town, you've seen them all. Narrow streets with a stop light every other block. Cars parallel parked on either side, yet they've squeezed in that extra lane to accommodate traffic.

Through the rearview of my mirror, I noticed the car behind me as it weaved its way through the traffic. I always wonder why they bother since they're just going to beat the car they've passed to the light at the end of the block. This car was worse than most. It was cutting cars off as it switched from lane to lane. I prepared as it came behind me expecting the same. I was not disappointed as the car quickly cut in front of me before screeching to a quick stop at the crimson light. I noted the license plate style before it sped off milli-seconds after the light turned green.

This morning, the roads glistened with the aftermath of the torrential rain from a few hours earlier. The rain hadn't quite ended, but had tapered to a heavy drizzle. It is spring, so even at 6:30 am the dark is starting to recede. Winter's dark mornings have finally come to an end. Since I didn't have to drop Sera off this morning (different long story, she's fine), I went to work the way I used to before adding her preschool to my routine. This stretch of road isn't as heavily travelled and has no stop lights. There are a few curves, but several straight stretches where there is plenty of space to safely pass a car. With little oncoming traffic, there were several opportunities to do so, yet the car behind me didn't pass. I was driving Jim's Tracker this morning and was going as fast as I felt comfortable driving on this rain-slickened road in the still dark, but lightening morning. Granted, at 45 mph it was about 5 miles below the posted speed limit, which is why I was expecting to be passed.

She didn't pass me. Instead she decided to attach herself to my bumper. At least I thought so when she got so close I could no longer see her headlights in my rearview mirror. She drove that way through several passing opportunities and then through the light at the major intersection we crossed. She turned left when I did and followed through the residential area, where I obeyed the 30 mph speed limit, all the way to downtown. We finally separated at the light where I went straight, and she turned right. Since I was waiting for the light to change, I was able to see her license plate.

You might wonder why the license plate of both these cars is important. It's important because it's the trend Jim noted. The most reckless and dangerous drivers on our roads all share this same license plate style.

While I applaud their sentiment, I question that maybe they aren't taking the responsibility to be a safe driver in their own hands. These drivers carelessly risk their lives, and more importantly, my family and my life. It does beg the question of whether they're putting out so much trust that they've forgotten their role in the equation.

What do these license plates all have in common? They all proudly proclaim:

In God We Trust



Blogger Kiy said...

Oh my, does this story bring back the memories. I grew up in small-town-midwest, so I hear ya loud and clear.

In our town, it was the after church crowd (not knocking those that go, just saying - it was obvious, especially as they were pulling out of the church parking lot). They'd pull out, right in front of you without batting an eyelash, drive super slow or super fast (hugging the bumper as your driver did), basically anything BUT drive safely.

My dad, the now retired cop, always said they had been to church so didn't have to worry for another week. He hated working Sundays as, darned the luck, that going to church thing didn't help.

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