View Mobile Site

We can do our part to reduce terrorist deaths

Text Size: Small Large Medium
POSTED September 10, 2011 1:43 a.m.

It’s time we did something about urban terrorists.

Not the Al Qaeda operatives but the terrorists who are more likely to kill us - drivers who wantonly and routinely ignore traffic laws and signs.

These terrorists - others call them speeders, drunken drivers, red light runners or obsessive inattentive drivers - kill almost 10 times the number of Americans a year than all of the terrorists acts ever perpetrated on United States soil.

There is no cry and hue because we have become immune to the carnage that occurs daily unless, of course, it involves us directly or a loved one or a friend. When it doesn’t, it’s just another wreck to rubber neck at as we go from point A to point B.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact each and every one of us fudge occasionally. The speed limit says 35 mph so we go 40 mph justifying it on the assumption its safe enough for traffic conditions.

We do the infamous California rolling stop - occasionally modified of late to the Manteca non-stop where you don’t even slow down for stop signs. We use the rationale that there are no other cars in sight that we can at least see when we commit the act of lawlessness.

It is tough to get people to stay within 5 mph of posted speed limits in fog and rain let alone clear conditions.

If you don’t think ignoring posted traffic speeds is getting out of hand, drive down North Main Street or a major arterial in Stockton and Modesto at the posted speed. You can literally get to double figures of vehicles that passing you up in minutes. And we’re not talking just barely getting by you either.

There is a reason why speeds are posted at a certain level. It isn’t to torment drivers or give cops a great opportunity to write tickets. He has something to do with the quaint notion of safety.

Although all speeders are equal in their collective disregard for the safety of fellow human beings, my favorite are the ones who zip around you and then cut in front of you slowing down quickly to turn right or come to a screeching stop because traffic up ahead is backed up.

There is a reason why insurance companies don’t take too kindly to the under 25 years of age drivers. Granted, there are morons behind the wheel in all age groups but the under 25 have more than their share. Call it the invincible factor, if you will, or even the inexperienced factor.

There’s a better name for it - the “I-know-everything” factor.

You’ll notice most people past 25 will complain about getting speeding tickets but they’ll coincide that they were in the wrong although they’ll rationalize it to a degree with the old “but-there-was-no-one-around” routine.

An alarming number of under 25 drivers - both male and female - have the mentality of roulette players when they get a speeding ticket. Just as a roulette player finds bizarre, unrealistic notions to rationalize how they’re going to beat the house in a game that has the odds overwhelmingly stacked against the player, so do younger drivers when it comes to their perceived stupidity of the posted speed limit.

It’s not just an excuse that there was no traffic around. Mention to them they were in a residential neighborhood when they were going 50 mph in a 30 mph zone and toss in the fact a kid on a bicycle could have darted out into the street and they’ll respond with a resounding “it didn’t happen so what’s the big deal.”

Then when a friend their age gets killed in a driving accident caused by speed, red light running, drunken driving or some other blatant traffic infraction that is not just an isolated quirk, they make no connection to their driving habits and what led to the fatal crash involving the friend.

Yes, there are older drivers who still make the same disconnect but the inexperienced (when it comes to driving) “have-no-fear” generation has a much larger problem when it comes to denial.

It would do us all good to remember each time that we turn on the ignition that we aren’t just driving a vehicle, but a massive two ton projectile that can easily turn into a deadly weapon.

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...