traffic tuesday #1 – turning right at a light
Courtesy is important to me. There’s something to be said about not being so self-absorbed that we are oblivious to the people around us. But then again, it happens all the time. I’m referring to the wonderful experience of being the second (or sometimes third) person in line at a stoplight, and the car(s) in front of you refuse to move up a few feet to allow you to make a right handed turn.
It’s even worse when the person looks at you in their rear view mirror and still refuses to budge. I’m not sure what motivates these people. Are they self-appointed “right turn police”? Do they just want to exert their control over you? Do they care?
There are several ways you can “deal” with these types:
- The double honk – This technique is the most common, yet most misunderstood (nobody likes being honked at). The key to perfecting this skill is in the length and lightness of the honks themselves. We’re going for a quick, light double tab. The resulting sound should say, “Excuse me sir, I’m here. Please move.” Unfortunately, it usually comes out a bit more harsh.
- The slow creep – for some reason I believe that if I keep moving forward, I can control things. That’s why when I’m waiting at a red light, I’ll roll my car forward an inch or so at a time. This makes the light change faster (at least it does in my mind). Anyway, this technique is more subtle than the honk and tries to get the offender’s attention by threatening to rear-end them.
- The Napoleon Dynamite – “Gosh…” This is the most subtle of the methods and it doesn’t involve the car in any way. You simply make wild hand motions and facial expressions while talking to yourself with the intention of showing your frustration so that the person in front of you will “get a clue”. Unfortunately, this technique usually back fires because it’s rarely noticed and even when it is, the hand motions and facial expressions tend to paralyze them with fear.