Thursday, May 16, 2013

Forced courtesy

Road rage is quite common in Australia and I suspect, occurs frequently in other countries as well. It seems we have little patience for those that don't follow the rules, whether it's on purpose on accidental.  


Australia has rules for absolutely everything and there is pretty much no situation out on the road where you wouldn't know what to do 'according to the book'. This has caused people to be very intolerant to anyone that steps outside of the rules. There is no consideration for those that don't follow the guidelines. 


Merging is a good example of this attitude. Try to jump ahead of a few cars in a traffic jam or do anything that gives you an unfair advantage over others and they will let you know about it! I have seen this several times in the constant Atlanta traffic congestion. 

Despite this, there is a particular situation here in America that simply baffles me. At intersections with no traffic lights, it seems like absolute chaos. There are no round-abouts. There are no guidelines such as the give way to your left rule or don't turn across the path of another car guide back in Australia. 

 
At most intersections here, everyone must stop at a stop sign, from all directions. Then it is simply a 'first in - best dressed' policy. If you get to the intersection first, you get to go first. 

Consequently, half the time people don't know what to do when they get to an intersection and they end up waving people through and stopping for extended periods of time while they let 5 other cars go first.
 
I can't understand how it works?! It's like forcing people that are normally inconsiderate sticklers for the rules to be courteous to other drivers. One thing is for certain; it does back A LOT of traffic up during peak hour.


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