Thursday, March 28, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 118


 
 









 
Driver's education fails in Houston

Michael Ahlf

Some days in Houston are peaceful, quiet and beautiful and then there are the days I have to drive.

The driving conditions in Houston right now are horrible. There's construction everywhere, potholes all over, bad roads, ill-timed lights and
traffic jams. But all of these things pale in comparison to the true danger of the roads: Houston drivers.

Whether the reason for this is that Houston's driver education programs are generally impotent, that Houstonians never learn to drive in
inclement weather until they are out during a storm or that it's just something genetic, I can't say.

It might just be the fact that drivers think they can take defensive driving for a traffic offense, knowing perfectly well that loophole in the law is
just a way for the city of Houston to make a quick buck by charging a service fee on traffic tickets people would otherwise fight.

So I thought this week I'd put up a little reminder for those of you who continue to be jerks on the road, so that (I hope) a few lives can be
saved.

First of all, there are those little blinking lights called turn signals. These are supposed to be an indication that someone is turning or
changing lanes. Use them before you turn. If you don't, you're cutting someone off, and it's likely you will find them running into you.

In the same vein, turn signals are not an invitation for you to hit the gas and cut someone off. Get used to it, and give someone with a turn
signal on a little room to make a lane change.

As for the people in gigantic trucks with halogen headlights, or the idiots who insist on having their brights on while driving in the city: This is
not a good way to drive. You're blinding the driver ahead of you, which is an excellent way to cause a freeway pileup.

This is especially true for people in trucks, as the height of those extra-bright headlights is just about even with a normal car's rear-view
mirror. Give the people ahead a little extra room if you think you need to illuminate the next 10 miles ahead of you.

If you're ready to follow these small suggestions and drive at sane speeds, I look forward to seeing you on the road. If not, I'll see you in the
obituaries.

Ahlf, a senior electrical engineering 
major,  can be reached at mahlf@mail.uh.edu.


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