Saturday, November 20, 2004

In The Wrong Lane

I have begun to keep track of the cars that cut in front of me without signalling. Over the past two days I have encountered one beemers and three merces. Unfortunately the only number I remember is 9748 because that's the beemer I flashed for cutting in. I shall do better next time and remember the whole license number.

What I would like to know is whether failure to signal is an act of negligence on the road. If I hit a car that cut suddenly into my lane without signalling, how much liability is on me and how much on the other driver? Maybe the road courtesy campaign might work better if some real punitive measures were put in place. It would also teach people to live with the consequences of their own actions, like if you miss a turn you go to the next U-turn and turn back instead of trying to cut across two lanes (and cut off the people in those lanes as a result).

I know it's hard to legislate courtesy. However, it seems odd that the people who drive luxury cars seem to have less of it on the roads. Perhaps rich people have no time to be courteous, or perhaps they get rich because they don't bother about being courteous, especially if it's to people who they don't see as being capable of conferring material or social advantage. This is probably unfair to a majority of rich people out there (seeing as I know a few decent ones myself) but it doesn't mean I can ignore the bad apples just because the rest of the barrel is good.

I guess that's the real failure of our education system:

"We readily inquire, 'Does he know Greek or Latin?' 'Can he write poetry and prose?' But what matters most is what we put last: 'Has he become better and wiser?'
"We ought to find out not who understands most but who understands best. We work merely to fill the memory, leaving the understanding and the sense of right and wrong empty."

- Michel de Montaigne,
Essays, Book I,
On Schoolmasters' learning


Blogger Tym said...

I just wanted to say that when I first read your post over the weekend, I wanted to leave a comment, but Blogger was lagging and not letting me load this page for comments, and by the time I got back around to it today, I forgot my comment :(
Silly Blogger!

11:49 pm  

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