BRANDON FOUNTAIN: Too many kings, queens on the road

I can tell it’s getting closer to summer.

No longer am I repulsed by the dull color that filled the skyline for so many months.

The deer and other wild critters have returned in force to their early-morning and late-night hitchhiking along the roadways.

And finally, as if on cue by bright, clear days and the open road, the most inept drivers have dusted off their Cracker Jack driver’s licenses and decided to hit the road with a vengeance, showcasing their inability to come close to driving reasonable speeds.

Infiltrating our area like a plague, these drivers span the economic ladder; from their fancy $60,000 luxury SUVs meticulously washed and shined to the cringe-worthy, two-toned rusted family sedans with a Bush/Cheney ’00 sticker still clinging to a half of bumper, they can’t fool me.

Ranging in age and experience, these infuriating drivers include baby boomers through millenials behind the wheel defying the laws of nature and probability. They include the technologically savvy to the technologically challenged, far too many have their phone glued to their ear for miles but seemingly can’t figure out how a turn signal works.

There’s no rational explanation for these “drivers.” I have found but a couple words in the English language which colorfully sum up my growing frustration with them – if you know what I mean.

Simply put, each assignment I drive to has become a choose-your-own-adventure, slowly eroding my patience and testing my resolve.

The most frequent question I ask myself: When did automakers stop producing vehicles capable of achieving posted speed limits?

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Little Fritzy (probably not the canine's real name) stands tall at the driver's side window at a stoplight recently in Big Rapids. As warmer weather has returned to our area, it appears distracted and slow drivers are invading our roadways again. (Herald Review photo/Brandon Fountain)

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Little Fritzy (probably not the canine’s real name) stands tall at the driver’s side window at a stoplight recently in Big Rapids. As warmer weather has returned to our area, it appears distracted and slow drivers are invading our roadways again. (Herald Review photo/Brandon Fountain)

It’s beyond ridiculous.

On far too many clear, sunny days I’ve come upon some vehicles with drivers nonchalantly traveling at a pace which presents obvious safety concerns for everyone on the road.

Some dilly-dally behind the wheel as if they are savoring the experience of an amusement park ride, while others appear physically unable to maintain a constant speed in a posted 55 mph zone, fluctuating between 40 mph and 55 mph within very small distances for no reason at all.

We constantly hear about the dangers of distracted driving. Most people associate it with texting and driving or younger, less-experienced drivers in a vehicle with a group of clamoring friends.

Yet, I have lost count how many times I’ve driven past or come to a stoplight only to look over and see a four-legged canine perched on the driver’s lap. Excuse me, but what in the world are you thinking? Does little Fritzy really need to be on your lap while you are driving? Let me introduce you to an invention called pet carriers.

Rather than scolding or reprimanding these drivers, folks nearly hyperventilate at how adorable little Fritzy looks … OMG! Look at his cute wittle face … ooooh …. and his cute little nose and ears … awww … talk about distracted driving.

Whew! Time to digress.

There’s no reason to go 45 mph in a posted 55 mph zone on a clear day. None at all. I would argue drivers who are unable to come close to 55 mph pose a greater danger on the road than anyone zipping along at 65 mph.

I’ve yet to see law enforcement turn their lights on for a driver trudging along at 45 mph or 50 mph with a half-dozen cars congest the road behind them. The drivers are happily putting along oblivious to the world around them.

Yet, in most locales, if you’re traveling 5 to 10 mph faster than the posted speed limit, you’re mostly likely in store for some flashing red and blue lights.

Why the double standard?

We’re all on the road together and everyone wants to get to wherever they’re going safely.

However, slower isn’t necessarily safer.

avatar

Posted by Brandon Fountain

Leave a Reply