Friday July 18, 2008 @ 11:15 AM (UTC)

Yesterday I undertook to count cars that turned without using their turn signals. I thought I’d count until I saw just one that DID use the signal. I was extremely – one might even say over- – scrupulous, for I ignored the six or seven cars who appeared not to use their signals but could conceivably have blinked once or twice at the beginning or end of their turn without my seeing. Only turning, not merging, was considered. I also gave a pass to cars turning into parking spaces, just to be expansively generous.

So, having let so many fish escape my net, how many cars did I see IN A ROW turn without using their signals? NINE.

NINE. No wonder I write sarcastic rants about the signal use in the Valley. And let’s not get into how many people actually look both ways before turning onto a busy street.


Dear F, I grew up in polite, efficient, German Cincinnati. Everyone always used their turn signal. Plus, waitresses did not sigh while they were taking your order or let you wait twenty minutes for your check…but I digress. However, the entire NW seems not to have learned that part of their driving lessons. On Bainbridge Island, no one ever ever used their turn signal – and a poll of my NW-raised friends reconfirmed this. I’m surprised your surprised…I think it’s a West Coast thing.

Can’t be the whole Northwest, for in Oregon the person who doesn’t use their turn signal is a rare and disapproved-of bird.

Really. I’m not claiming we’ve never seen it happen, just that if you shook your finger at every driver who did it, you wouldn’t get a repetitive stress injury.

And dear God in Heaven, people used their signals at four-way stops. Many people even knew how to negotiate a four-way stop.

Let’s remember that in Portland, Oregon, when reporters tried to implement the road-politeness test that measures numbers of seconds before honks erupt at a car that fails to go on a green light at a busy intersection, they didn’t get a usable rating because no one honked. Someone just came up to the car and asked the driver if he was okay. :P

a grammar lesson…sigh…sorry about that…you’re surprised not your surprise

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