Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pet Peeve

Like most people, I have several pet peeves when it comes to driving. Several of them are simply related to where I learned to drive, some have a very personal history to them, but then there are some that don't seem to bother many people but drive me absolutely nuts. I'll be talking about one of the ones in that 3rd category today.

I'll set the scene. Pea-soup fog. I'll estimate visibility at about 5-6 car lengths. There were about 8 cars in the pack I was driving along with on the way to work. 3 of them didn't have their lights on. I would estimate that roughly 1/3 of the cars in the oncoming direction (assuming I saw them) didn't have their lights on. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. People driving without their lights on in situations where they should be. When will people realize that the point of having your lights on in most situations is not to help you see, but to HELP OTHERS SEE YOU?!?! Or is it that people realize this, but don't care since they don't see it as a personal benefit?

I'm not sure how the law works in Iowa, but in Illinois if you have your windshield wipers on, you're legally required to have your lights on as well. If I was a cop, I would be filling my ticket quota (we all know they have them) on rainy and foggy days. Now, when I say this to someone, the majority of people respond that I'd be a jerk cop for doing this. Like it's better to be a cop that pulls people over for speeding? I personally see the lights issue as a much bigger safety hazard than going a little faster than you should. Now don't get me wrong, excessive speeding is very dangerous. I've heard of people getting tickets for doing 100 in a 55 zone, but (due to where I learned to drive) I don't see 65 in a 55 as being a dangerous thing. Personally I think the speed limits should be set higher and actually enforced, but I'm derailing myself to a different topic.

I guess my question is, who would you be more irritated with, the cop who pulls you over for doing 5 over the limit, or the cop who pulls you over for not having your lights on in rainy or foggy conditions? You know what my choice would be, but I guess I just don't understand why people don't think driving without your lights on isn't a big deal.

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