Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 21 May 2010 00:00
I have never thought of myself as a particularly brave person; however, each day I take upon myself a truly terrifying task. People have been killed, maimed, or scarred for life doing this thing that I have chosen to do, and knowing this, I must somehow find the courage to continue on. I wish I could now segue into my dazzling adventures as a mountain climber or Bengal tiger trainer, or something with equal glamour, but unfortunately that’s not where this is going; I’m talking about driving on Jericho Turnpike.
Simply put, I’m tired of people in my neighborhood driving so selfishly. Now, we’ve all made mistakes while driving, myself included, but the honest mistakes that we all make from time to time are not my concern; my problem is with the drivers who do not make the effort to follow the laws because they labor under the mystifying illusion that their time is just too important to waste. If you’ve ever blocked traffic on Jericho Turnpike because you just had to make a totally impractical left turn out of a parking lot, yes, you may in fact be one of those people. I will never yell at you or make a rude hand gesture, but if nothing else, you inspire supercilious editorials. Take that, selfish people.
Some may deflect my criticism by saying, “Oh, but nobody actually turns right and makes a U-turn when they really want to make a left, or goes the long way around- that’s just impractical!” However, let it be known that I do those things, and I’m reasonably sure that I’m not nobody (all existentialist pondering aside). I also somehow manage to get to most places on time while avoiding dangerous left turns, and other supposed boons to my prized-beyond-rubies time, like the plague.
I know: You could be late for a doctor’s appointment. You could be rushing to pick up your kids on time, so little Michael and Madison won’t have to wait outside while strangers presumably offer them candy. You could have any number of legitimate reasons for driving less carefully in one instance than you would like to otherwise. However, according to the DMV, there were 32,357 auto accidents in Nassau County in 2008, accounting for 10.2 percent of all accidents in the state. Are so many of us really in that big of a hurry? Or do some people need to start taking their responsibilities on the road more seriously? Even while allowing my neighbors plenty of leeway for mistakes, logically I have to believe it’s the latter.