Sunday, July 13, 2008

Another Rant: Hold Up Your Right Hand

Another rant, copied from my old web site which will eventually either move or die.

First posted: May 10th, 2005.

Hold up your left hand. OK, now hold up your right hand. Good. So now why do so many drivers & cyclists out there not know their left from their right? The rule in this province is at an "uncontrolled" intersection you must yield to the vehicle on the right. Seems simple enough right? So why is it then that so many people seem confused by this? In Saskatoon we have many uncontrolled intersections, especially, it seems, on my normal cycling route to work. It has nothing to do with how wide the street is, or how fast you're going, or how big your SUV is, or how important you think you are, or whether your heading North-South or East-West, or whether it's a bike or a truck. About every other day I yield to a vehicle on my right, performing a precariously balanced track-stand and hoping they will hurry up and get through the intersection so that I can get on my bloody way, while they also come to a complete stop, look at me questioningly, then try to wave me on wondering why I'm stopped in the middle of the road where that truck behind me is surely going to run me down. Of course on the other days, someone else tries to run me down by blazing through an intersection, often at speeds way too fast for a residential neighbourhood, without heed to anything that may be coming, whether it's me on my bike or some other unlucky soul. I see so many near misses every week that it really makes me wonder why these people haven't weeded themselves out of the driving population yet. Too bad they're also quite likely to weed several other innocent folks out of the breathing population in the process. The cyclists I meet on the road are often no better in this regard than those operating motorized vehicles, but at least they are less likely to cause serious damage to anyone other than themselves.

So, please remember, if you are approaching an intersection and you don't see signage to indicate right-of-way, yield to the vehicle on your right [even at a t-intersection]. Of course, you must also keep a sharp eye out for the fool who skipped that day in driver's ed, or that day in kindergarten, when these lessons were taught in the first place.

To review the local rules, see page 45 in the linked pdf, a section of the Saskatchewan Driver's Handbook.