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Bad Drivers

I read this heart wrenching article today about the sentencing of a man who shot a teenager in the head in an incident of road rage. At the end of the article, which I urge you to read in full, is the teenager's father's victim impact statement to the judge.

In its narrowest, it's a story of a senseless tragedy for the victim's family and the just consequences of a terrible crime by the shooter.

More broadly, though, I can't help but think of all the examples of bad drivers that I personally see many times when I drive in and around Philadelphia, all of which are potential road rage incidents in the making:

-- driving down a bike lane or bus lane, in order to quickly pass the line of cars in the single driving lane,

-- driving along a shoulder, again in order to pass the line of cars in a legal driving lane,

-- turning left on a red light, right before the light turns green, in order to beat the traffic from the opposite direction,

-- refusing to let alternating cars merge from two lanes into one, but instead riding the back bumper of the car in front to box out the car in the next lane.

The common theme in all these examples: selfishness, the driver showing through their actions that they believe themselves more important than everyone else who is driving according to the law.

It's certainly a minority of people out there, but selfishness is not just an impassive character trait that does not effect other people, but rather, as in the case of the news story above, can have real consequences in the innocent lives of others.

I wish Philadelphia Police were more active in enforcing traffic laws to keep us all safe from the actions of a selfish few.

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