There’s a new and particularly abhorrent behavior spreading among the scofflaw-motorist community—and I’d say, judging both from statistics and what I see on the streets every day, scofflaws comprise a plurality, if not a small majority, of the motor vehicle operatoros out there.
The scenario plays out thusly:
One of the increasingly-rare law-abiding drivers is waiting to turn right at an intersection. He or she is waiting for the eminently acceptable reason that a fellow human being is crossing the street on foot in front of them, or in the path of their turn. Waiting, in this case, is prescribed not only by law but by that human decency we foolishly, and against all evidence, believe to be the common characteristic of all minkind, and not merely an ideal quality we plan someday to aspire to…at least when others are listening.
So the kindly driver waits.
And the moron behind him lays on the horn, effectively saying, “Kill ’em already; can’t you see I’m waiting?”
It doesn’t matter—and of course it shouldn’t matter—whether the pedestrian is a vigorous young man or woman, a respected elder hobbling on a cane, or a mother pushing a baby carriage. And in fact it doesn’t matter—to the self-entitled narcissistic apes who have made a sacrament of impatience. They blast the horn anyway. Just yesterday, I saw (and heard) one do it in an effort to cajole the drivers in front of him to plow through a line of schoolchildren crossing Western—with the walk signal in their favor. As seems inevitable now, he was in a luxury SUV.
I guess they feel they really do own the road, though of course they don’t—drivers don’t and never have paid for the vast network of wide multilane roads, freeways, and parking spaces both government and private entities provide for them. I don’t need a wide array of lanes and an aggregate of eight parking spaces allocated to me; I travel by bicycle and transit—and even buses need less road space per passenger than the typical car, which in California operates three-quarters empty. Trains are even more efficient, and subways use almost no surface area at all. Small Parisian-style two-lanes are enough for both foot and bike travel and reasonably-sized delivery trucks. Even on arterials, wide lanes are not for efficiency, but to facilitate speeding. My taxes are higher than they need to be to keep all those bloated roads and curbside parking spaces available for the motorized moochers. And the prices I am charged at markets, stores, and restaurants include the cost of the parking spaces that they provide and that I don’t use. Private parking costs $20,000 to $80,000 dollars per space to build, and occupies land that could be put to far more profitable uses. And while many places charge something for parking, there is no place in Los Angeles that charges the market rent of those spaces to those who actually occupy them.
The horny bastards don’t own the road. They don’t even have a “right” to drive. It has been established for over one hundred years that driving is a revocable privilege, granted on conditions, and has never been a right.
Yet drivers have driven almost all others off the vast public spaces known as our streets.
It’s time that this false entitlement were beaten back. Perhaps we should employ the “broken windows” paradigm, and actually enforce the law that says horns may be blown only to warn of danger. And revoke the driving privilege of repeat offenders.
Save them from themselves, before they turn into hit-and-run murderers…as so many already have.