More than common courtesy on the road

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.

~ by drivingmsmiranda on July 26, 2010.

8 Responses to “More than common courtesy on the road”

  1. We do a thing here which is when someone lets you in to traffic (from a side road) you indicate left, right, left right quickly.

    Bane of my life here is tailgating (maybe a different meaning over the Atlantic). Here it means when someone drives REALLY close to your rear bumper. I am talking maybe a metre when you’re driving 160kph. Drives me nuts!

    • Hey MrShev,

      Nice to see you back. 🙂 Thanks!

      I love the idea of saying thanks when someone lets you into traffic! That would never, ever happen here in Montreal though. Our drivers have this aversion to letting anyone merge. We will do everything in our power to NOT let someone in. It’s quite pathetic actually and causes so much unnecessary traffic. *sigh*

      We also have avid tailgaters! We use the same term here and it’s bad! I admit to doing the crime, but only in extreme situations in which someone is doing 90 km/hr in the fast lane … they deserve to be bullied into the middle lane! 😉

      Drive on,
      – M.

  2. I’m a big fan of working together with other drivers – I’m surprised more people don’t flash the lights – a ticket turns your day in to something less than enjoyable. I also like what some manufacturers have done – like Volvo, where slamming on the brakes suddenly causes the brake lights to do a high-speed pulse to grab the extra attention of those following. Wave!

    • Hey Robert,

      Thanks so much for the read!

      I agree that a ticket can totally ruin your day, so I’m all for keeping everyone happy on the road and enjoying their days! 🙂

      Volvo’s safety features really are leaps and bounds above the rest. I actually did a blog about the City Safety feature on the new XC60, you should check it out!

      Drive on,
      – M.

  3. I don’t know about Canada, but down here, driving and parking fines are an easy way for states and municipalities to make extra money. The Philadelphia Parking Authority is particularly ruthless. They even have their own reality show called “Parking Wars”! I applaud your road manners. I wish more people would extend that kind of courtesy.


  4. OR, you could always, you know, drive the speed limit.
    “I wasn’t paying attention to my speed” — that’s your problem right there.

    • Hey Jesusjones,

      Thanks for the read!

      True, I could drive the speed limit, but like most drivers I just drive naturally instead of incessantly looking at the speedo and adjusting my speed accordingly. Driving 5-10 over the speed limit is common practice on the road. I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do, just saying it happens often. I’m not known to cruise along at 20, 30 or 40 km over the speed limit.

      Lately the police presence in my city has made me much more conscious of my speed, and that’s a good thing.

      Drive on,
      – M.

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