The Greater Toronto Smash-Up Derby

July 25, 2007

Failing to signal a lane change in Ontario costs the offender two points on their driver’s license.  If this were actually enforced, some people would lose their license on the way to work in the morning.  I’ve seen some people make seven or eight lane changes within a few blocks and not signal a single one of them!  I should mention that six or seven of those lane changes were unnecessary.

Another one is failing to turn into the proper lane.  If you’re making a left turn, you should be aiming for the left lane of the roadway you’re turning on to.  If you’re making a right turn, you should be aiming for the right lane of the road.  More often than not, people turn into any lane but the one they’re obligated to by law.

Every week day for the past couple of months has seen a serious accident on one of the major highways in the Greater Toronto Area, usually resulting in at least two lane closures.  Every day there is a serious accident.

I realize that hundreds of thousands of people commute to and from Toronto on a daily basis, but the accidents are more frequent and of a greater severity now then they ever were before.

I think there are too many distractions inside and out of vehicles.  People are not wholly concentrating on driving.  Cell phones, LCD screens and whatever else people have going on, reduce road safety.

I would like to roll video on all the stupid things I see people doing with their cars.  I could make a daily 44 minute comedy show out of it with fresh material for every show.

The new trend of stopping fifteen feet short of the thick white line at intersections when the light is red is driving me nuts.  Pull up to the line.  Better yet are the people who stop their car three lengths behind the car in front of them, then slowly inch forward, bit by bit, until the light turns green.  Friggin’ come to a full stop.

When you stop at an intersection, you should be able to see the back tires of the vehicle in front of you.  This is considered a safe distance.  If you can’t see them, you’re too close.

People are idiots when they drive for many reasons.  Some people are afraid of the roads and drive hesitatingly slow.  Some people can’t read the road signs.  Some people don’t know how to coast (coasting is a condition in which neither the gas nor the brake pedal is under pressure) & are always tapping their brakes.  Some people are angry with other drivers and and let their emotions control their car.

A few things – those who are supposed to enforce the traffic laws should do so without selectivity.  Seemingly small offences like failing to signal lane changes, turning into the wrong lane, etc., are as important as the more serious ones, such as speeding, failing to stop, and what not.  It starts with the police, but the real enforcement is in the courts.  Slack justice will produce slack drivers.  The judiciary has a responsibility to support the police in their efforts to serve and protect.

Automobile manufacturers could do something to make our highways a lot safer & I don’t think it would be too technical or expensive for them.  GRADUATED BRAKE LIGHTS.  The harder you’re pushing the brakes, the brighter your brake lights will be.

Here’s a question that has been asked before…if the maximum speed limit is 100km/h, then why are vehicles manufactured for faster speeds?