Friday, August 25, 2017

The right-on-red blues

There are things drivers do that aren't really all that dangerous per se, but that have started to pull the quick release on my pet-peeve reaction. One is nudging into turns through intersections while there are pedestrians crossing, crowding and bullying them as they cross with the light.

Another is drivers who move out around me when I'm stopped at a red light so they can turn right.

Like this, f'r'example:


I know it's not all that dangerous for them to do this: I'm stopped, I'm usually over at the side of the road with a foot on the curb. And in this particular case above, there are some weird, confounding factors, like the angle of the intersecting street and how far back the stop line is from the corner and how wide and quiet the street is.

But it's not actually legal. And at a couple of streets on my usual ride to and from downtown, I stop in the middle of the lane, because the street is narrow, because of where I need to be on the other side of the intersection, whatever. And I get honks, I get yelled at, and a lot of the time, I get people pulling out around me, sometimes into the left-only lane, to turn right around me. Sometimes they stop first and then inch around me. Sometimes they just cruise right past me on their way through the turn, and that's when I worry about it being dangerous, because if they're looking left for oncoming traffic, they can't be paying attention to where their passenger side mirror, or front tire, is in relation to me.

But like I said, most of the time it's not all that dangerous. I mentally shrug and sigh.

The other day, though, someone did it, and then I realized it was a driving school car. With an instructor in the passenger side seat. And our encounter went a little something like this:

It wouldn't have bothered me nearly as much if it hadn't been an instructor, obviously teaching his student that it's just fine to cut around a cyclist, and to ignore the cyclist's concerns when she points out that what he's doing is illegal.

And it's consequence-free. No one is about to pull anyone over for doing this. There are bigger fish to fry. But it touches off that pet-peeve reaction of mine that someone whose job is, theoretically, to be a stickler for the fine points of the law (I was failed on my first driver's test for leaving the clutch in through a turn) is so blasé about it.

Also, I don't think this is the first time I've had a less-than-stellar encounter with Jim's Driving School: maybe even with that particular instructor. . .

1 comment:

  1. Can't win, don't try. Even if you go the extra mile to Make Sure they can go right, somebody will find faullt...