January 18, 2005

Wait, slow down! There are children here. Yes, you!

I live in an lovely neighborhood on the top of a little hill in beautiful Redmond Washington. There is a single street, we’ll call it “Hill Ave”, that winds its way up the hill, with turnoffs for the side street along the way. Hill Ave is one lane each way. My house is on the corner of a cul-de-sac and Hill Ave. Just behind my house is the local elementary school.

Now, as you might expect, the speed limit on Hill Ave is kinda low. In fact, it is 25 MPH. Given that the distance from the bottom of the hill to the top is a bit over a mile, it is not really an issue in terms of travel. Along Hill Ave there are at least 3 school bus stops. Adults and kids and dogs and bicycles are always going up and down the street.

So, why the F*** can’t people even attempt to drive the f*!!ing speed limit?

I was leaving the house to drive my daughter to day care the other day. From my street to the “bottom” of the hill is 7/10 of a mile. I looked left and right before turning, no one coming. I turn right down the hill.

No sooner have I turned and I look in my rear view mirror and there is a van approaching rapidly. I just assume, naive and liberal schmuck that I am, that the approaching van will realize he is traveling a bit fast when he nears me (I am doing my 24 – 26 as I usually do) and slow down. Not a chance. He comes right up my rear and then passes me (in a no passing zone). Whizzes on by doing at least 45. I laid into my horn as he was passing by and I doubt he even turned to look.

This is not the first time this has happened to me (in fact, it happened again just a couple of days later). We have had cops on the street and just a couple of weeks ago had one of those insta-radar things that tell you how fast you are going. The neighborhood knows this is a problem. But, that is just not good enough for me.

When the vanf***er was zooming by me, on his way to some important meeting with the President or a double brain transplant or something, I literally wanted to either (a) ram him off the road or (b) chase him and ram him off the road. Some small vestige of common sense and the fact that my 21-month old was in the back seat, kept me from doing either. Additionally, ether one was illegal and would make me little better than him (ok, I am still better than that f***er under any circumstances).

It is one thing to speed on the highway, maybe pushing 70 in a 60 zone. Frankly, I do it all the time. If I catch myself doing it, I try and slow down. The traffic is likely doing much the same around me. No excuses, it is illegal, but it is not necessarily deliberately dangerous.

This asshole, however, is on a residential street. Signs are posted every few hundred yards with 25 MPH. Kids are waiting for the school bus. The car in front is doing the speed limit. The solid yellow line means “don’t pass here”. But, these people still have to get to their fucking (note I am sick of the *** crap) hair appointment or budget meeting or stove installation or yoga class (slow down, breathe deeply) and have to save a minute or two on this critical 1 mile stretch of drag strip.

There needs to be a solution. I need to either have the legal right to run them off the road, go over to their car in the ditch and spit in their face OR be able to shoot the ball-bearing shotgun mounted on the front of my car into their windshield OR be able to report their license number to the police and actually have the police FUCKING DO SOMETHING.

Choices one and two above are not really good ideas. But, choice three, that the police FUCKING DO SOMETHING when I report the speeding asshole, sounds like some damn fine civil governance to me.

This is a societal problem at its core, don’t you think? What could possibly compel someone to knowingly speed down this street? Has society so inured us all to the reality of the world and people around us that we just race along as if there is no one else there? Are we so hopped up on caffeine or sugar or whatever that we don’t think that the presence of a school on a residential only street with just one lane each way in the rain with signs posted everywhere and cars all around going slow might indicate that we need to slow down? Guess not.

We all speed on occasion. We all talk on our mobile or read a map or make an illegal U. We are all human. Some people, it seems, are just more important than the children and puppies and generally law-abiding citizens around them. I am working on my own solution for these people, and I just know it will involve steel bear traps, rabid vermin, high current, and some paint thinner. So, just speed on by my house when you feel the need for some action.

One comment

  1. (from the wife)
    I would whole heartedly support you in the desire to run them off the road and spit in their face. Maybe we can get one of those James Bond nail spitters to come out of our exhaust pipe…Oh! Don’t get me started too…

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