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Less stress with courtesy test

If I had my way, when you get your licence, you'd have to pass a driving courtesy test.

If I had my way, when you get your licence, you'd have to pass a driving courtesy test. Driving courtesy would stress rules of the road like pull over to the right and stop when a police car, ambulance or fire truck is behind you, and common sense courtesies like giving a wave when someone lets you into traffic.

I started to think about it a couple weeks ago when I noticed I was the only one giving waves of thanks to people. It's sort of like holding the door open for someone at the mall and having them saunter through without so much as a head nod or a simple "thank you." If I don't get a thank you, I can be found muttering colourful words or vowing not to be courteous again. The same is true when I slow down specifically to let someone onto the highway from a side road and they just crawl into traffic and take two minutes to get up to speed. If I see a wave, I smile and give plenty of room. No wave, and the atmosphere in my vehicle is a little less joyful. Another courtesy that falls in the realm of common sense is to pull over if you can't do the speed limit. Our highway is almost entirely without passing lanes. When vehicles can't keep up to speed, they cause undue anger on our roadways. I put myself in this group, as my friends always give me grief for driving too slowly. But when I don't feel confident going 80 on the highway (ie: in a snowstorm or heavy rainfall), I pull over and let traffic pass. It's better than having some white-knuckled driver in serious need of anger management kissing my bumper all the way to Gibsons! And as for those of you who feel the need for speed, keep it close to the speed limit - that's why it's called a limit. Racing about can not only land you a ticket, it could cause you to seriously injure someone. So if you can't reach the speed limit, pull over and let traffic pass. And if you feel the need to add 20 to the limit, don't bully others into your mentality by leaving an inch between your bumper and theirs.

I also think everyone on the Coast should pull out their drivers manuals and refresh themselves on the way to handle a four-way stop. It's only "the first one there goes first" if you all arrive at the intersection at the same time. After that, each vehicle to the right takes its turn in sequence. Other driving pet peeves of mine include people applying makeup while driving (you know who you are), talking on a cell phone, racing ahead of an emergency vehicle when you hear the sirens behind you, driving too slowly in the left lane that is meant for passing and driving with your high beams on with other vehicles ahead of you.

My simple high beam rule is this: if you can see the taillights of the person in front of you, turn off your high beams, and as soon as you see headlights coming toward you, click to your low beams. We all know how difficult it is to see the lines on the roadways here at night, and being beamed in the eyes with someone's high beams doesn't help.

If we can all use a little more courtesy and common sense on the roads, we'll all be better off. And perhaps our children will learn a little less unfavourable language.