Column: From behind my steering wheel


Commentary by Steve Wohlford

In my younger years I taught drivers’ education in the summer months. I did this for more than 12 years. It never ceases to amaze me how little today’s drivers seem to know or understand. One major key to safe driving for all of us is that each of us needs to be predictable. That’s the reason “rules of the road” exist. Other drivers’ behavior behind the wheel of a car is greatly affected by hundreds of common sense assumptions they have concerning your driving behavior. Someone driving 45 mph downtown cannot be anticipated. Someone using a traffic circle as their personal slalom course at 35 mph instead of 15 mph cannot be anticipated by other drivers entering the circle, etc. If you live in Hamilton County, you have shared some of the behaviors mentioned and have asked the same questions. For example:

  • On 146th Street, you should not be passing a vehicle that is traveling at 54 mph.
  • A vehicle entering a roundabout from your right really doesn’t expect you to be traveling at 35 mph so don’t give him/her a hand gesture. Practice your road course driving somewhere else.
  • That 18-inch wide white line just before the crosswalk is there for a reason. Its name is STOP LINE.
  • In your subdivision, if you drive 35 mph instead of 20 or 25 from the entrance of the subdivision to your home, you’ll save 15 to 20 seconds on your commute. Is that worth a child’s life?
  • The following is a commonly observed illegal act. When in a turn lane waiting to turn left, don’t sit behind the crosswalk and then move forward after the light turns yellow. The law says, “enter an intersection on yellow only when you were unable to stop safely.” Uh, you were safely stopped already so don’t proceed to make your left turn. You just made an illegal turn.

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