Getting Harder to Stay Good

I’m not sure how many of you commute everyday to work in your own car. I have to go into the office at least three days a week. When I go in, I leave around 6:00AM, then come home anytime after 3:30PM. Regardless of the time, there is traffic of some sort.

Driving back and forth, I encounter a lot of drivers. Although all of us go a little faster than we probably should, which isn’t really new, how others drive has become a mighty road hazard.

In last four years, more drivers than ever are taking risks with themselves, their passengers, and those of us around them. They are becoming quite reckless, acting as if the road belongs only to them and the laws, and courtesy to others, don’t seem to apply.

For example, more people are flat out running red lights. Not going through the yellow, or speeding up to make it through the yellow, something probably all of us have done at least once. I’m not talking about accidentally running the yellow light because you thought you had more time, I mean not slowing down at all. No attempt to slow down or stop. Just continuing on as if there isn’t a light at all. It is so bad I now hesitate a few seconds just to make sure someone isn’t barreling through to t-bone me.

On the way home, there are a couple of lane changes that make no real sense in how they are marked. It doesn’t matter if one agrees with how they are marked, we are still supposed to follow the arrows. At one intersection, the right lane is right turn only. It used to be, even though it causes a long line of cars on a short light cycle, we all waited our turn. No longer. More and more people are staying in the turning lane, and when the light changes, they just go ahead and drive straight through, causing issues for those of us who need to shift to the opposite lane for the next light to go straight on the road.

Then there was the guy just this past week, who must have felt he was more privileged than the rest of us with his time being much more valuable. He just flat out drove in a median marked by double yellow lines to pass us all. His speed was dangerous as well was the way he drove in the lane to get around the line of traffic.

Taking up two lanes while driving seems to be catching on as well on narrower streets. I can understand that some people can get stressed out by narrow lanes, but if that is the case, there are streets close by, going in the same direction, with wider lanes to travel. When they take up two lanes, a dangerous situation is created because people then try to go around them, moving into oncoming traffic to do so.

What gets me the most is for many of the above antics, a policeman has seen it occurring, often driving in the same conditions created by these erratic drivers, and does nothing. No siren, no pulling over to talk to them, no giving them a ticket. Just a turn of the head, ignoring the dangers being created.

I have my own opinions of why this is happening. Often I’ve thought if the police would give tickets for running red lights, driving in lanes not marked for traveling, not stopping at stop signs, and yes, even ticketing for speeding, we wouldn’t have this problem. My own humble opinion also believes not only would traffic accidents happen less frequently, and riding in a car would be less dangerous, but crime would also decrease. If one knows they are being observed and held accountable, then many of those who have been reckless in the past, may change their ways, and crime would go down as a by-product.

In my humble opinion, if I might add, the lack of accountability for the planners of the insurrection, and politicians not being sanctioned for unethical behavior, leads to the behaviors described above. For too many, if they see someone who looks like them getting away with major crimes and misdemeanors, then the thinking is, “Why do I have to follow the law and they don’t?” Thinking of this kind is what I believe has gotten us to this point in our democracy, being on this precipice of an authoritarian government.

All of this can lead to good people deciding it is getting harder to be good when those we encounter don’t care about law and order, and doing the right thing. One might take that first step of ignoring societal norms and mores because others are doing so and getting away with doing so.

I say this because every day when I see people in that one lane going forward with impunity, I have begun to wonder why not. The police don’t care, and really there isn’t a reason for the lanes to be marked as have been, why not help with getting home during rush hour. Just do as the others are doing and get home quicker.

This will not be the case as I have a respect for the law and am afraid I would be the one that gets caught—no one wants a ticket—but it is tempting.

What are your thoughts?

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