Thursday, October 26, 2006

Turn signals: a users guide

Dear Minnesota Highway Patrol,

I am writing you today to express my frustration with your enforcement and monitoring of seatbelt use. It is a personal freedom, albeit extremely stupid, to not buckle one's seatbelt. Instead, it would be wise to focus your patrol efforts on actual moving violations which cause accidents effecting other drivers on the roads. To the best of my knowledge, someone tooling around in their rusty 1974 Olds Cutlass has never caused an accident solely due to an unbuckled seatbelt.

A much greater hazard are the dolts who are unaware of the functionality of that stick which is usually protruding from left-hand side of their steering column.

Yes, the infamous turn signal. At one time it lived alone on the steering column; free from the encroachment of headlight controls and windshield wiper functionality.

Today, that crowded stick still does serve as the home of the turn signal. Its sole function is to signal to other adjacent drivers the intentions of the vehicle. The only way, unfortunately, to initiate the turn signal is by the driver of the signalling vehicle.

Human intervention, or the lack there of, is my beef today. I cannot even recall how many times in areas lacking turn lanes that drivers have sat stopped with no signal light flashing to indicate their eventual progress in either direction. Other than being clarevoyant, there is no way to tell the intentions of a driver who is blind to the existence of said turn signal.

These people, and their lack of signal light usage, are the true hazards on our highways. An unbuckled seatbelt never caused an accident but an unused turn signal surely must be the cause of at least SOME accidents which snarl the traffic on our state's highways.

I urge you to focus at least some attention on drivers who are oblivious to the fact that intended turns must be indicated by the use of a turn signal. For today's tubby population, it can be a bit of an exercise even to move their hand a whopping three inches and, in the process, avoid accidents which they could potentially cause.

Additionally, ticketing these mindless drivers would serve to line the state's coffers and that would definitely buy at least some chocolate covered Rice Krispie treats for you to munch on as you cruise Minnesota's highways.

Thank You

Concerned Minnesotan

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