Community driving and the right of way

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:37

    I just arrived home from a walk with my 23-month-old daughter. We love this time, and the serene, picturesque trail is one of many to appreciate in our little village of Florida. Unfortunately, our tranquil walk is not always as we’d like. The rushing of cars passing us ever so closely without slowing down sometimes places my heart in my throat. Don’t get me wrong, many a passersby does so cautiously and even with a friendly wave. The latter is what should be expected from one another in a community setting. My frustration with people and their driving habits is not solitary - I know many share in my concern for this ongoing “epidemic.” We come to expect such inconsiderate and sometimes dangerous behavior as we drive along major highways with everyone rushing to work or somewhere they need to get to in a hurry. However, should we experience this in our own community amongst our own neighbors? I sometimes think that the adage “Right of Way” is either ignored or forgotten. All you have to do is drive along Route 17A and you will experience cars jetting out of gas stations, side roads, and parking lots without considering that the people coming along that said route actually have the “Right of Way.” How many times have you had to stop abruptly because someone came out onto the main roadway either without looking or even worse, seeing you and coming out anyway? We all have busy lives, but is one person’s destination more important than another’s to result in such dangerous maneuvers? Once again I reach out to the ideal of a community - most of the people you pass on the road in our village are neighbors. If there’s one thing I can honestly share that gives me so much pleasure is when I slow down to assist someone getting onto a roadway or trying to make a difficult turn into some establishment. That smile you see through their windshield and their appreciative wave speaks volumes and truly makes my day (and I’m certain their day as well)! Anyone reading this article knows where they stand in my fictitious “Driving Categories.” Are you in the category of driving way above the speed limit through town and recklessly entering or exiting places? Or are you a more considerate driver who leaves enough time to get places and who is aware that they are NOT the only one on the roadways? Only you can answer that question. Let’s cling to that concept of living in a lovely community where people care about one another. When you get home from a long day at work, you want to breathe a sigh of relief that you are home - a place that is safe and peaceful. We need everyone to be considerate drivers (to be part of a caring community) in order to reach that goal every day. Ann Zembovictz’s essay first appeared in the Florida Focus.