Take a little trip with me: Are traffic rules just made to be broken?

By Christina Coloroso and Jessie Fawson

Coloroso: Sorry I’m late. I almost died on the way here-some crazy blonde driver in a 1990 speed wagon came within inches of claiming my life. Seriously, I saw flashbacks of my childhood.

Fawson: I know what you mean: The world’s worst drivers were out in full-force this morning. I was almost made late waiting for some blue car-if you can call it a car and not a covered wagon. It wasn’t even going full speed, and then the driver honked at me as though it were my fault that she didn’t get over! For Pete’s sake, the road is for driving, not crawling.

Coloroso: Wait, a blue car? And the driver honked? Dangerous, combat-style driving tactics? Why does this sound so familiar?

Fawson: Dude, that was you! What were you thinking? I nearly killed you-learn to pay more attention next time!

(Momentary pause as a “friendly” round of name-calling and finger-pointing ensues.)

Coloroso: While the animal kingdom may be governed by the rules of brute force and competition, roads and parking lots have rules that come attached to them-rules all people are supposed to live by. They aren’t meant to be broken, and there is no exception. The speed limit is not a friendly guideline, nor are stop signs merely suggestions. These rules save lives-mine in particular, this morning.

Fawson: Except when you find yourself in a crisis situation. At war with time and traffic, the customary rules of civil engagement no longer apply.

The world becomes dog-eat-dog, and only the strong survive. Rules and laws are meant for times when all basic needs have already been met, which was definitely not the case this morning.

Coloroso: Jessie, are you kidding me?

The other people on the road, including pedestrians and bikers-please, in the name of all that is holy, let’s not forget the pedestrians and bikers-would appreciate the extra effort on your part if you could just obey a few simple driving courtesies, such as, perhaps, trying to avoid killing people.

Fawson: The way I see it, this is Social Darwinism in action. The foolish and weak-hearted will be picked off by the strong and able. If you can’t take it, get out of the way. As for rules, try this one on for size: No cop, no stop.

Coloroso: If Social Darwinism applied to traffic, wouldn’t you have died many a figurative death at the hands of our vigilant highway patrolmen?

Fawson: No, because I have developed an ability that separates me from the masses. It’s called crying. I use my tears to my full advantage.

Coloroso: Don’t joke, this isn’t funny. Traffic rules save lives. Stoplights, speed limits-they aren’t just suggestions. Turn signals, blinkers and brake lights are what separate us from the anarchists. I hope we can at least agree that life is good, and therefore killing is bad. Rules are made to be followed, not broken, and that blanket statement extends to everyone on the road.

Fawson: You are such a pansy. Yes, rules are rules, but can you honestly tell me you’ve never driven over the speed limit? That you’ve never gone through a red light in the middle of the night?

Every single person in America who has a driver license has, at one time or another, cut someone off or changed lanes without signaling, which proves my point. Traffic rules are conventions that people within society can accept or reject. Of course, there are consequences to rejecting them-they’re called tickets. But if you can get out of the ticket, more power to you.

Coloroso: We aren’t just talking about creeping over the speed limit a little. We’re talking about endangering people’s lives.

Fawson: But who’s to say that the person endangering life is the tailgater and not the person driving 60 miles per hour in the fast lane?

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