Life in progress

Dangerous politeness


Being polite in this town I call home runs rampant. So much in fact that it normally takes twice as long to get through a four-way stop because everyone is insisting everyone else go first, regardless of who gets there first. Today takes the cake though.

I was sitting in a long line of cars at a red light waiting for it to go green. Finally we get to go (it was a long light); I was behind a Cavalier. We were almost at the light when the Cavalier almost rear-ended the pickup truck in front of him. Why did the pickup stop at the green light we’d been waiting so long for, almost causing an accident? To let a pedestrian cross in front of him on the red.


As the population in this town ages – I believe it will be half empty in the next fifteen years – it seems that many of the drivers lack more and more the concept that the rules of the road are more important than being nice. And it’s scary! I’m trying to teach my son to drive around town, but it’s unrealistic. The first time he leaves town and goes to a big city he’ll be run into and over top of. There is no such thing as aggressive driving here. I actually had a ball when I went to Montreal last month, getting to experience that again after so long. At least when everyone is only looking out for themselves you know what to expect.

This little town with all its nice people is, I think, the most dangerous place I’ve ever gone out in public. Unless I’m walking of course.

Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

18 thoughts on “Dangerous politeness

  1. Pingback: On the Buses | lindaghill

  2. We have a population of half aggressive and half overly polite drivers here which is a dangerous combination indeed. I am suprised that it hasn’t happened yet but fully expecting a time when someone stops for a pedestrian in the middle of the high and gets rammed by a speeding/texting/roadraging moron and creams the lot of them.


  3. Arggh, that slow down/brake on a green thing just infuriates me, what do they do for a red, reverse?! How do they ever get home?

    For the most part, London drivers are pretty rude, aggressive and selfish, but every now and then, on the outskirts of town you approach a mini roundabout and it will have seized up because all the frigging Sunday drivers will have stopped going ‘after you’, ‘no, after you’, ‘no, I insist you go first’ etc. Until some irate bitch breaks cover and shoots over that is 😉

    Driving rules were created for a reason folks, so lose the faux politeness and downright dangerousness, and act normal FFS! And yes I do see the irony, such a request coming from me 🙂


  4. Beware the old they are out to get us!!….eek! I nearly qualify to join their ranks!!


  5. Would love to see you write a piece that really places me on that intersection, if not a photo. I’d rather the prose about it, though. I want to see what you see, hear what you hear and smell what you smell… aside from the burnt rubber leaving the road, of course!


  6. Funny how that works… I’ve been somewhere though that the sidewalks don’t even protect you. In Istanbul, which is like the wild west with cars, seeing all are compact and there are way too many which means there’s no parking at all, they drive up onto the sidewalk. I can’t tell you the eeriness I felt the first of many times I sensed a car behind me on the sidewalk… nowhere is safe… nowhere… but it is a place rich in history.


    • That does sound very dangerous indeed. I’ve never chosen to travel to a country where the laws are notably different than they are in Canada. I suppose if I had, I wouldn’t be as lackadaisical in my commentaries. 😛


      • My son got a job offer and he went, then I went to visit him, I got a job, he met someone, life got complicated, he got married, some students of his asked him to be part of their company, he’s still with them and still lives there. The rest is a learning experience… how different it was from anything I knew, but to be part of a developing country is special. Former students still keep in touch and I have friends, teachers like myself still there. All I can say is it’s a special place and I’m on their side for getting into the EU – their PM needs the boot but everyone else should be accepted.


  7. Killing ’em with kindness, I suppose. Here we have so many geezers, all blind, all deaf, all oblivious. It’s a real test.


  8. I definitely get road rage. I mean, I’m not a jerk driver, but after work, I just want to get home and people just take their sweet time or don’t pay attention to the short lights.


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