More than common courtesy on the road

By Miranda Lightstone-Styker

As promised, oh faithful reader, a post without bitching a complaint!

As I was cruising around today running various errands, a wonderful thing happened to me on the road: A fellow motorist warned me of an upcoming speed trap.

Granted, I wasn’t driving excessively fast (I swear), but I appreciated the gesture and was sure to give him a discrete thumbs up after I spotted him flashing his brights and giving me the universal “slow down” gesture out his window.

I spotted the parked cop car a block later, doing well under the speed limit by then, and I wished I could have thanked Mr. There’s-a-Speed-Trap-Slow-Down properly. It’s people like him who make driving better.

I always warn of upcoming speed traps for oncoming motorists on the highway and on side roads. Usually a simple high-beam flash is enough to slow everyone down. It’s sort of a universal sign; and if you didn’t know that, well now you do, oh faithful reader, and you can spread the love by warning oncoming traffic of cops up ahead.

I’m also big on using my hazards.I have a routine. If I suddenly have to slam on my brakes on the highway (or anywhere for that matter) and I notice cars in the distance coming up fast, I do 3 things at once: Slam on my brakes, check my review mirror for impending doom and smash the hazards light button so those behind me get a double warning that I’m braking harder than usual.

It’s all about common courtesy on the road and keeping your fellow motorist safe and free from paying exorbitant amounts for speeding.

There are few times I wish I had been warned of upcoming speed traps — it could have saved me a few hundred dollars and a few point son my license. Oh well.

Some would say you’re helping speeders not get caught. And in some cases I would agree. But in the situation I faced today, I probably would have been just on the cusp of a ticket because I was on an open stretch of road, I was alone and I wasn’t paying attention to my speed because I was alone and it was open. I wasn’t flying like an F1 driver, but I was surely close to 15 km over the limit, which would have been enough. Mr. There’s-a-Speed-Trap-Slow-Down saved me and probably the 5 or 10 cars that were farther behind me as well.

And in a situation like this I would implore you to warn your fellow motorists of the upcoming doom ahead. Don’t sneer and think: “He deserves it/can afford it because he’s driving a BMW/Porsche/Mercedes/Lexus/etc.” Instead, think how much you would appreciate it if Mr. Porsche flashed his brights and motioned for you to slow down if he knew there was a cop ahead.

Do unto others and all that jazz, right? Those rules apply on the road too.

Drive on,
– M.

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