I held off on this for a while. As of now, I've only been here a little over two years. I didn't want to say anything earlier, because I didn't want to be "Who does this new guy think he is, walking in to town tellin' us what's what?!" I've written pieces that are highly praiseworthy of my new and current home, so I hope you know that what I'm about to tell you comes from a place of love and respect: Y'all suck at driving.

I don't mean like, "Oh, I once had a single isolated negative experience with a driver, so now I'm blaming everyone." I'm talking, I have never seen an entire town so fundamentally bad at driving. I've driven in major cities with notoriously terrible traffic, including navigating Southern California. I've driven in snowstorms and blizzards. None of that really compares. At this point, I'm assuming the Humane Society doubles as a chauffeur service, because dogs operating your vehicles is the only thing that makes sense anymore.

Dog waiting for his owner

Your Lyft driver has arrived

First off, what should be the most obvious one, red lights mean stop. Even if you're turning right on red. You still have to stop. You don't have the right of way. It's not yours. You stop, and you wait till it's clear, then you can turn right. But you still have to stop.

Another big one, the center lane down Broadway is for turning. It's not an additional driving lane. I have seen people drive several blocks through it until they could merge with regular traffic. That's dangerous. REALLY dangerous. I had someone pull that on me when I was attempting to turn left. Missed my turn because I couldn't get over. I don't mind if I miss my turn because of my own stupidity, that's fine, that's on me. My bad. But because of someone else's recklessness? That's just terrible.

Speaking of, I once saw a guy pull out of the Broadway HyVee, to turn left onto Broadway. Now, traffic was backed up. He had no where to go. No inlet into westbound traffic. But he pulled out of the lot anyway, and just sat there perpendicular to oncoming traffic. I was turning into the parking lot, and luckily so were a lot of the people in the eastbound lanes, otherwise the left lane drivers wouldn't have been able to swerve out of the way and an accident definitely would have happened. All because that guy was a name I'm told I shouldn't use in polite company

donkey (4 years)
Eric Isselée via ThinkStock

Actual photo of that driver

Another time there were emergency vehicles coming down the opposite lane. Everybody of course moved over to get them space. Except one guy who took that opportunity to pass everyone up. Just... come on, man. Don't be that guy.

Just a few weeks ago, when we had a big snowfall, I was gonna catch a movie, but when I got outside and saw how people were driving, I said "Nope, not today," and went straight back to my apartment. My friends said, "Brodie, you're from Michigan, you should be used to driving in snow by now!" Which is true, and I am. But here's the thing, when the roads are as bad as they were, hadn't even been plowed yet, and we're still getting some snow coming down, and I'm seeing people flying past at well above the posted speed limit, you can be damn sure I'm not going out in that. I trust myself to drive safely, but I'm not trusting anyone else.


Not the time to practice your Tokyo Drifting

And it's not just these instances. It's consistent disregard for general traffic laws, common courtesy and safety. It's unsafely blocking traffic while you attempt to turn left off a busy road. It's left turns from the go straight lane, going straight from the turn right lane, even saw a right turn from the left turn lane once. It's taking a short cut by going the wrong way on a one-way. I look both ways when I have to cross a one-way street, walking or driving, that's how little faith I have in you guys.

Pedestrians and cyclists, don't think you're off the hook, you guys are all over the place. But that's a Quincy thing, this town needs bike paths and better sidewalks. Hashtag fact. OH! And just since we're on the whole municipal thing real quick, there's gotta be a way to turn off the School Zone things when class isn't in session. There's no need for the guy ahead of me to slow down to 20mph on MLK Day as we're passing the Junior High. I digress.

Again, it's not JUST that you're violating traffic laws and codes and what not. It's a safety thing. You're in a two-ton glass and metal box powered by exploding dinosaurs. Man was not meant to travel by such means of conveyance. Yet here we are.

Dinosaur Huayangosaurus
MR1805 via ThinkStock

He died 65 million years ago so you could drive today. Don't let his death be in vain.

So please, pretty please. I think we can all do better. Myself included, I'm not gonna sit here and say I'm perfect. I'm not. I know I've probably pissed a few of you off whilst on the road. But holy schnikes what's wrong with you people? Was Driver's Ed just watching Bullitt, Smokey & The Bandit, Blues Brothers, Mad Max, Speed, and the Fast & Furious franchise, depending on when you went to high school?

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