How’s My Driving? Too Fast…? Too Bad!

| January 31, 2012

Staff Writer - Katrin Callender

Many a delivery truck carries a sticker asking this question and listing a number for you to call with said appraisal. One is seldom able to act upon the invitation since these very vehicles speed by too quickly for the number to be copied.

The time, cost and energy that go into obtaining one’s driver’s license in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago should inspire a greater sense of responsibility. Yet many drivers exhibit dangerous behavior on the street. This document is not merely photo identification or status symbol. It confirms that the one in possession is ready to navigate the streets behind the wheel of an automobile. This does not merely mean that you can make the vehicle move from one point to another. A little courtesy on the road goes a long way. No driver is alone on the road. There are cars on every street and highway and around businesses and residences. Why hurl abuses because you are displeased with another driver? Worse, why threaten violence. True, if a driver is thoughtless and his actions endanger your life and the lives of your passengers, you will understandably be shaken and livid. But lashing out at this driver or other drivers in retaliation jeopardizes many more lives, and your own. It accomplishes nothing positive. Regardless of its capabilities, few vehicles are built as weapons. They are first a mode of transportation. And we are cautioned by the activist group of the same name to “Arrive Alive”- a valid position. The prevalence of death and injury resulting from automotive accidents in Trinidad and Tobago, and elsewhere, can be avoided or at least lessened. But drivers must commit to making the necessary changes.

Don't use this sign if we can't catch you!

Communication is important on the road. Too often drivers make unnecessary gestures. Sometimes they are ‘talking with their hands’ or acknowledging a pedestrian. It is important to ensure that these gestures do not confuse others, drivers and pedestrians alike.  Similarly, drivers must use their indicators as often as the need to. Too often, individuals will neglect this if there are few cars on the road or if these are some distance away. Street signs and notices must be read and complied with, regardless of the hour or of how tedious the changes are.  Running red lights and veering out of the path of large ‘pot holes’ may seem like good ideas in the moment but can end in tragedy.

Most importantly, challenging or unusual situations may arise while you are behind the wheel. No one can prepare you for this. You will be forced to make a decision in seconds. Its impact may be great or small. Hold on to two ideals. It is imperative that you exercise patience and respect on the road. If you view the other drivers, not as nameless, faceless and irksome entities on ‘your’ road, but as someone’s parents, children, siblings or friends- the individuals who populate your community- you will find it easier and even pleasant to do so. Anyway you may just find that driving is an enjoyable experience.

 

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Category: Culture & Society

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