Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Road Rage

A recent incident at a nearby Kroger parking lot was very disturbing to me. A retired police officer shot a man after an argument at a four-way stop. There is a lot of hoop-la here in town about the whys and who is to blame, but just the fact that guns were drawn over a four-way stop dispute is troublesome. How antagonistic can one person be over who has the right away? Come on people, watch a few Chip and Dale cartoons and be nice and let the other person go, and leave your gun in your holster.

Given this shooting occured within about 4 miles of my home, I've become a bit more attentive to people on the road that might not be too happy with what's happening around them. I didn't think it would be so close to home until my drive into work yesterday...

As I pulled on to Taylorsville Road, happily traveling at the speed limit, a huge black Ford F-something-50 zoomed up on my tail and flashed his lights. Now, normally, the unsanctified part of me would want to slow down to a creep just to agitate him, but given the recent outcome at a four-way stop, I decided to continue on at the correct speed and hope he calmed down.

I then turned on a two-lane curvy road and he almost swallowed me up in his grill. Ok, now I wasn't too happy and beginning to get a little paranoid. The winding road ends at a three-way stop (whew, close call...could have been a four-way). I stopped, let someone go, and then proceeded through hoping and praying that this would separate us enough in traffic - and give him some time to cool off - all would be forgotten. Au contraire.

After being able to "leave him in the dust," I continued driving down a major 4-lane road and lo and behold he finally caught up with me. He had dodged in and out of traffic, as I observed in my rearview mirror, to go around other perceived irritating drivers, and ended up in the left lane, almost next to me. Now, the panic set in. He was next to me, not ahead of me, nor behind me. And, he honked his horn repeatedly. I looked straight ahead, kept driving, took a deep breath, and said a prayer. I should have started by saying a prayer. I slowed down a bit, hoping he was wanting to get in front of me, but no, he zoomed on to the next light and turned left.

Whew. Crisis averted.

I now wish I had taken note of his license plate and called the police....which is what local authorities are advising motorists to do in town who observe some possible out of control road rage. I guess if it happens in the future, I'll have my wits about me to take down the number.

You know, I remember prior to 9/11 how violent the world seemed. School shootings, violent local crime....it was brutal. Then, a terrorist attack seemed to push a crime reset button and for a while after that horrible day, crazy crime seemed to diminish. I even had a man in traffic next to me honk to tell me a tire was looking flat. I sure don't want another terrorist attack to occur to right side the world of crime.

5 comments:

Twinkie said...

It's so scary! I'm glad it worked out for you.

Jules said...

Wow.

When we were living in Colorado, I was on my way to work one morning (it was in January 1996) and there was ICE on the roads. Not a little patch here and there. The roads were covered with packed snow and ice. But it was Denver, Colorado----not Louisville---so, you know, it was just another day to them, and I had to go to work.

I was five months pregnant and scared out of my wits to be driving on the ice. SO, I just tried to take it really slow. Our condo was on a side road off of a major thoroughfare. I had to turn right as I went out onto that main road, but also had to get in the far left lane once I did, because I needed gas, and the gas station was on the other side.

Apparently, I wasn't manuevering this as well as another driver thought I should have. He seriously rode my tail all the way to the gas station, and THEN...after I pulled into the pump, he pulled up perpendicular to me...like he was blocking me in and sat there staring at me like he was trying to intimidate me. I was petrified, but I kept my cool because I knew I'd get the last word...because the moron was driving a COMPANY VEHICLE with the name of the business and it's phone number plastered all over both sides, and the rear. WHAT A DOOFUS!!!

So, I went on to work, and had legs like wet noodles by the time I got there from the strain on my nerves, and I called the company, and I don't even remember what I said, but they connected me to THE OWNER of the business, and he could not do enough to apologize to me! I will never forget that! He said, "It takes someone like me practically a lifetime to build a business and a reputation, and someone acts like this, and can wipe me out in a split second." Honestly, while I was livid with the dork driving the truck, I really felt badly for this guy that owned the company.

But you know, he was wise in that he already had little things in place to combat things of this nature. His fleet of trucks were all the same kind of truck, but everyone one of them was a different color. So, if an issue came up like this, and you knew the color of the truck, he knew exactly who to corner on it.

Later that day, I almost felt guilty because I kept thinking, "What if I just cost that guy his job?" And then I got freaked out again, because he just as easily could've remembered my car, what street I'd come from, etc...but I never heard anything else about it ever again.

On a related side note...there was a very brand new Camry in the parking lot at Kohl's today being driven by someone with no use for traffic laws. As you leave our Kohls, there are three lanes exiting. I was in the one on the center, and this person came up behind me and went in the left lane.

I noticed them because they ran stop signs in the parking lot. Then, the took the right lane, which turns right and leads directly to the NY State Thruway...which goes to NYC. The car had a 20-day, temporary NON-RESIDENT licence plate. Two men---dark hair. OK, I'm a racial profiler, because I immediately wanted to know if they were Middle Eastern, and I was really bummed that I wasn't a cop because there was enough to warrant a stop and an investigation...if for no other reason, than for breaking about 20 traffic laws within less than a 1/2 a mile.

Be careful out there, and be alert. Be VERY alert.

Katrina said...

Scary! But you were wise to keep your head and not allow the situation to escalate through retaliation. I've definitely noticed that people everywhere seem to be more angry lately (and not just driving...)

Alisa said...

A good word to the wise to me, Rosie. A friend once gave me a Tazmaninia Devil keychain because she said I transform behind the wheel! I am trying to "let things go" as my husband repeatedly (loudly) urges me to do. He's afraid I'm going to slow down to irritate a tailgater one too many times and "...then I'll lose my wife forever!". I'm trying to remember God is soverign and if He wants me to be stuck behind some idiot driver on a two-lane road, I should just accept it and calm down. Key word in that sentence is: trying.

RosieBoo said...

I definitely won't be testing the goodness of the souls on the road anytime soon. :)

...Jules, I think it's time for you to get back to blogging ;)