2005.04.28 (Some) Utah Drivers
Some Utah drivers are special. There are just a couple things that have come to my attention lately which I want to address.
- Yellow Lights
- Blocked Intersections
There's something called a yellow light. In common states and places this means that the device permitting you to proceed is no longer doing so, and is advising you to stop very soon. It is aware that you might be going at a speed which is not conducive to stopping safely, and while the light is yellow, it is permissible for you to proceed, but essentially only under that condition.
Now don't get me wrong here, this feature is taken advantage of, as it should be, but it has gotten to the point of abuse. Let's take a great example here of how people aren't doing things correctly. It is most frequently abused by those in the left-hand turn lane. I can understand that one car might be out in the intersection, waiting for opportunity to turn left. The way that things are abused is that one or two additional cars then feel obligated to turn when the light has clearly indicated the necessity to stop.
You can't convince me that car 2 and 3 had approached the intersection at a speed which would have been unsafe to stop prior to the light turning red. Car 2 might (in some small fashion) be blocking traffic (though technically it shouldn't have entered the intersection if if it knew it couldn't clear it), so I can understand that it needs to proceed. Car 3 is NEVER in a position that couldn't stop before the light turns red. The drivers are just so greedy and impatient that they can't wait for the cycle of lights. If you're in that big of a rush, you should have left earlier.
Something else that might need to be considered is the concept of not blocking an intersection. I can understand when somebody has attempted to cross an intersection in good faith, attempting to proceed through the intersection to the opposing side, only to find that the other side has filled up, despite their previous calculations.
What I can't understand is when people enter an intersection (knowing that they won't be able to clear it), but figure that because they're right behind a car that is aimed in the same direction that they must be alright. "Oh, don't mind me you cross-traffickers, I'm not going the same direction as you, so it's okay that I am where I am.
Other examples of infractions which I have witnessed which would fall into this general category:
- Seeing a blocked intersection, and crossing it to join the throng of cars already blocking it, knowing full well that by the time the light turns you still won't have cleared it.
- Knowing that your nose is blocking an intersection, and crossing to the opposite side when the light has turned yellow, only to join the blocked intersection on the other side.
Let's summarize for you who might not have been paying attention (probably because you're mentally justifying your own bad driving)
The yellow light does NOT mean that you only have a couple more seconds to get through an intersection (so you better hope that others get out of the way so you can go too), but that your permission to cross an intersection has been revoked and you should stop (but if you're unable to stop you may proceed (but only for a short little time)).
Intersections should not be blocked, on either end of the intersection, by either end of your car. Just because you're behind a car which isn't blocking the intersection doesn't mean that you too are not blocking the intersection.
Disclaimer: These statements do not apply to every driver in/from Utah (and probably not even the majority). If you're offended by any of these statements, please allow me to say the following: get over it.