The Book - Bart Beck

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HAVE YOU NOTICED?

Have you noticed how the meaning of some words have changed, in the last few years? Until recently, STOP has meant halt, cease, desist or otherwise discontinue your present course of action, at least, momentarily. As it is now used, at street and highway intersections, it has come to mean, slow down only enough to see each way, far enough, to determine if the approaching vehicle can by screeching its brakes, let you get through without getting hit.

This lack of consideration for our fellow motorists is especially obvious at four way stop intersections. In most places it is the rule of common courtesy for everyone to come to a complete stop before entering the intersection. Lately, however, this rule seems to apply only to those people who have some consideration for others, and not to those who feel like they are in a big hurry and will do just about anything to show their ignorance.

If a person were to recognize a stop sign to mean what it says, they would stop where the sign is and not consider a stop, back in the middle of the block, as a stop at the intersection. They would not follow the car, in front of them, while some poor law abiding citizen sits, patiently stewing, while he waits for the idiots to give him a break.

Another thing that gives me some irritation is; why is it necessary to drive fifty miles an hour in a shopping center parking lot? The same person that takes off like a rocket when they are only going fifty yards, is the same person that parks in spaces that are supposedly set aside for disabled people.

Still another change that has come about, in the past few years, is the significance of the amber light in the traffic signals. It did, for a long time, mean that you should prepare to stop, because the red light would soon appear. That has all changed and it now means that you should increase your speed to the extent that you can get close enough to the intersection to warn waiting traffic that you own the intersection and you are not going to stop, even though the light is red when you reach the cross walk.

Some people think that if they can get close enough and are going fast enough, they can bluff out the ones that are waiting. Apparently it works, in most cases, however when it doesn't, some innocent people suffer, just to satisfy the ego of an inconsiderate driver who thought that he or she was in a hurry.

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