In Los Angeles, the “rolling right on red” is commonplace. If you’re coming up on a red light with the intent of turning right (which is legal once you stop, traffic is clear, and it’s safe to proceed) a lot of folks just slow down (-ish) and roll through after a quick glance to see that they’re not actually going to T-bone you. The expectation is that you will watch out for them, stopping before you rear-end them after they pull out in front of you.
neurotic Catholic-educated boy that I am, I don’t do this and don’t have a lot of respect for those who do. But I’ll watch out for them. I’m nowhere near sanctimonious enough to actually get into a car accident deliberately, no matter how much the freakin’ asshole other driver may deserve it.
Today was a whole different kettle of fish.
On the way out to the hangar, between my house and the freeway, about five miles, I had not one but two freakin’ idiots run through red lights without even bothering to slow down or look. I can understand the one guy (not forgive, just understand in a snarky way) since he was busy texting while he was driving so it’s no big surprise that he sailed right through the light. He probably never even saw it, let alone noticed if it was red or green.
The other lady didn’t have that “excuse” but had enough attitude to make up for it. A half block after I had to stand on the brakes and swerve into the other lane to avoid her, we were stopped at another red light. (I assume she stopped at this one only because other people in front of her had stopped.) She noticed me glaring at her, rolled down her window, and just yawned and rolled the window back up when I recommended that she drive by the same rules as the rest of us.
Okay, I might have opened the conversation with a suggestion that she should begin by removing her head from her ass. It seemed like a reasonable request at the time.
There’s an old Don Henley song (“If Dirt Were Dollars”) that talks about vacuous, brain-dead people like her. “She just looked at me / Uncomprehendingly / Like cows at a passing train.” Aside from the truly clever use of “uncomprehendingly,” the lyrics are perfect for describing people like this.
Never a cop around when you need one.
Tomorrow, we’re expecting to get our first good rain storm in many, many months. If you think people in Los Angeles were driving like blindfolded morons today, just wait. You haven’t seen anything yet!