Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rules of the Road in Toronto: VOL 2

Dear Toronto Drivers,

You suck. Well, most of you suck. Some of you are okay. But most of you suck.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve had the pleasure of driving in and around our wonderful city a lot. I’ve also had the pleasure of listening to Adwoa do the traffic report on 102.1 The Edge. Now when she’s all, “Wesbound 401 jammed, take the in-town route, northbound 427 left lane closed, take the collectors, Southbound DVP, Gardiner, blah blah blah,” I totally get it. And then she's all, "I'm Ad-jew-a Nci-yay-a-bu-won 680 News for 102.1 The Edge." Try to pronounce her name. It's fun.

Unfortunately, over the past couple months, I’ve had the displeasure of being stuck in traffic with the likes of you jerks. Apparently, somewhere between getting your license and merging in front of me without looking (or signaling), you somehow decided you were entitled to drive like a dick.

Remember that time you swerved into my lane to avoid the parked car you would have seen if you'd been looking? Or the time you made me wait three entire light cycles because you insisted on turning left through gridlocked traffic? That was fun.

Sometimes, you're driving in the fast lane on the Gardiner and abruptly come to a dead stop for no particular reason. Then, a few minutes later, the jam clears up and you’re on your way, leaving me wondering what the hell happened.

My Dad once taught me, “The most important car is the one behind the one in front of you.” It took me a minute to figure that one out, but it turned out to be a decent lesson: take care of yourself out there. Be responsible on the roads, folks! It’s not rocket science. Be CASD.

At the very least, get these ones down and we might be able to get along out there.

Confident and Decisive go hand in hand. Don’t creep into traffic; either go or don’t go. Turn or don’t turn. Quit it with this indecisive ‘nose half into the other lane’ crap while you try to guess if you have the proper time and room to go. If you’re second-guessing yourself, don’t bother. Otherwise, grow some balls, Featherfoot (also known as a Nose Diver.)

If you want to merge into my lane, I’ll usually let you in (Unless you just zoomed past a line to cut in at the front like a douchebag; I don’t stand for that shit. I’ll purposely not let you in and make you wait for someone who does fall for it. What, is your mission more time sensitive than mine? I’m on the way to the office too, man! Enjoy the radio.)

However, if I give you room, take it. Take the fucking space. If you have your blinker on for ten seconds and inch over like a wuss, forget it. You’ve lost your chance.

Confident also has to do with the size of your vehicle. Don’t swerve into my lane to avoid a guy on a bike because you think your Toyota Corolla is a Hummer and needs five feet of clearance when steering clear of cyclists.

Also, if you’re driving a cube van, you don’t need to drive halfway into the next lane. It’s big, but it’s not that big.

Aware – Be aware of your surroundings. Apparently, that’s a tough one for some people.

“How can we possibly be expected to pay attention to pedestrians, cyclists, signs, traffic lights, lane markings and other vehicles while we’re trying to update our twitter status to reflect our opinion on the latest Hollywood blockbuster? Or attempting eat a delicious bagel BELT from Tim Hortons without spilling the lettuce in our stupid laps?” That’s how people get hurt.

It would seem that people assume ‘A’ is for ‘aggressive’ because that’s how a lot of them drive. I always look in my rearview mirror and see them going insane, flailing their arms and yelling at god-knows-who. Aggressive is angry and angry is a punch in the face. Would you want to get punched in the face in traffic? Of course not.

(Incidentally, I rarely see an aggressive streetcar driver. They couldn’t swerve into my lane even if they wanted to.)

Moving on...

Safe – Just because we banned you from using a cell phone aka ‘handheld device’ doesn’t mean you can’t use them. You use them all the time. Apparently, some of you can't get three blocks without punching the destination into your GPS for detailed, audible directions.

If I was using my GPS to pinpoint my exact location and map out routes for me, why the fuck would they have road signs? I pay attention to the signs when I’m driving and it seems to work fine. Meanwhile, you’re doing 140 down the 401 fidgeting with your Magellan, which makes you not only miss your exit, but crash into a bridge pillar and rocket through the windshield. All because you wanted to change the voice on your GPS to British so, instead of highway, it would say “motorway.” And now because of you, there’s a traffic jam and all the people going the other way are like, “Oh fuuuuuuuck… I would hate to be stuck in that".

They don't mention anything about operating a camera while driving, so could I use my phone camera while driving? What about a disposable camera? What about a DSLR? With a fisheye lens?

Maybe this incident report should be an iPhone app. Then I could report bad drivers on the go... but I’d be using my phone for that, so I’d have to turn myself in as well.

Also, just because the posted speed limit is 40, that doesn’t mean you can go 75 if you want to. This is a school zone! That shit is dangerous.

Or 20, that sucks too. If you’re going the speed limit, cool. You’re going under the speed limit? Why? My speedometer isn’t even registering a number! Get out of the way. That is unsafe for everyone involved (mostly me and you, but especially you.)

Here are the Top 10 Toronto Motorists' Worst Habits as well as the Top 10 Toronto Drivers' Complaints. Also, check out Rules of the Road in Toronto: VOL 1.

Learn something and smarten the fuck up out there.

See you on the road!

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