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We usually rant about the idiocy, the selfishness and the flat-out dangerous behaviour on our roads. It's too easy, actually. There is a never-ending merry-go-round of gripes that could fuel an entire section, not just an article.

For a change of pace, today's rant is brought to you by When Drivers Are Too Nice.

I think it's lovely that you want to provide assistance to someone exiting a parking lot to join the flow of traffic. But you can't just screech to a halt for a reason unknown to all the cars around you, especially on a green light. A child on the road requires a life-or-death stop. Someone stuck in the Timmies driveway does not.

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You are interfering with the safety of many other vehicles. If you're trying to help someone make a left turn, you're counting on way too much kindness from way too many strangers. Just so you know: if you wave someone out, and they get hit, you can be charged. I was informed of this by a police officer who told me it was too bad the person who waved us out didn't stick around.

Maybe I'm the person you're trying to help. Unless we're in stop-and-go traffic, I'd prefer to choose my own safe entry point, thank you. You don't know if I'm waiting for two lanes of traffic to clear to make a left turn, and you also don't know if people in multiple lanes are in on the plan. I appreciate the thought, but it's just too dangerous.

Streets with on-street parking can present their own special fun. When parked cars have reduced a street to a single lane, please know that, if the cars are parked on your side, you must wait. Even if it doesn't seem fair. That's the rule. Sometimes, when the congestion is obviously going to require some cooperation, I think it's polite to flash your lights if you are letting the other person proceed. This lets them know it's their turn. And yes, when you've done this, people should say thank you.

We have a never-ending list of laws and bylaws. They're being amended and added to constantly, with people who love them and people who love to break them. The middle ground? Most situations just call for a little civility and a little common sense.

We could all give that a shot, right?

lorraineonline.ca

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About the Author
Drive, She Said columnist

Lorraine Sommerfeld began writing when she was about to turn 40, because it was cheaper than a red convertible. Her weekly column Drive, She Said, while existing in the automobile section, is a nod to those of us who tend to turn the key rather than pop the hood. More

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