Are Red Lights Merely a Suggestion in CNY?
I spent the last 3 years travelling this country by car. Before that, I was always one to jump in my vehicle no matter where I was for the next adventure, be it a concert, a small town, or a record convention. When you are on the road that much you learn a few things.
- No matter how much you speed, the GPS estimate never changes and you don't actually arrive any faster
- If someone wants to be aggressive, let them. Their rage isn't worth your life
- The law is always watching
- It's easy to find yourself going faster than you expect.
- Running a red light save you no time
Let's look at that last one, shall we?
I started noticing it in Nashville more than anywhere else in my travels. At a four way stop, my light would turn green, and I would wait. Why? Because invariably one or two cars would go through the light. This is not a case of a yellow turning red while they are under it. This is straight up running a red light.
In my further travels in Ohio and West Virginia, this didn't seem to actually be an issue. It was a nice change of pace. Then I moved here. On my very first day driving to work from my hotel in downtown, I experienced the exact phenomena I had seen in Nashville. At the light right by the Adirondack Bank Center, my light changed and as I stepped on the gas, 2 cars passed in front of me, running the light.
My coworkers were no shocked by this revelation but they were saddened. Like me, they understand that we have very few sacred rules in our society. Green Means Go. Red Means Stop. It is practically universal. So when we put our need to get to the next light sooner (and yes that is what happens, you save no time by doing this), what is the big deal?
Placing your perceived need to get where you want to be before the most basic of rules of society shows a narcissistic trait that is an afront to the very society we are all just trying to get by in. You aren't above the rules, nor are you more important.
The red light isn't optional. It is a non spoken contract you sign with your other drivers that says that their safety is of your concern with the hope that your safety is of concern to them. If you break the contract, why should your safety be anyone's priority.
Professional wrestlers have a tradition when they shake hands with each other. It is not a firm handshake these muscled up people share, but a soft one. It says "You can trust me with your body." I think we need some more soft handshakes and less hard heads on the roads. Be good to each other and care about each other. Let's all work to uphold that contract.