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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Coolest thing I've seen all week

I was holding out to see if anything better happened as the week wore on. But it's mid week, and nothing better has leaped out at me. So here it is.

At the beginning of the week I was on the train platform nearest my house, waiting for the southbound into Miami.

The train tracks run parallel to the highway. And so there are entrances and exits to the highway right across from the station platforms. Often when people exit the highway there they run red lights.

Now, in normal parts of the U.S. we've all slipped through a yellow light here and there. We may have even made a break for it when the light was yellow at the start and turned red during our bolt. Not saying it's right. But we've done it.

Here in South Florida, driving badly is a competitive sport. And running red lights - that have been red for a hot minute - is one of the many ways you let other drivers around you know that you are crazier than them and thus more deserving of "road respect," which loosely translates into all the other cars and drivers staying out of your way.

But the thing is no one is ever caught. In fact, in the 18 years I've been driving - and I've driven in 22 states and six countries - I don't think I've ever seen a reckless driver pulled over by law enforcement, primarily 'cause there has never been a cop in sight.

So back to Monday. I was on the platform alternately reading my paper, looking for my train to arrive, and watching the cars exit the highway. At one point, a woman in a giant SUV (no worries, I'm not an SUV hater; I've driven Jeeps half my life) came down the exit ramp. It was clear she was on the phone. Halfway down the ramp her light turned yellow. By the time she came to a complete stop it had been red for a good four or five seconds. She remained stopped for the blink of an eye and then took off through the red light.

A moment later I heard a siren. Apparently a motorcycle cop had been sitting under the highway overpass a few feet away. He took off around the corner and stopped the woman. I hope she got a ticket and a good tasering and a nightstick makeover.

Well, maybe not the tasering, but I was thrilled for once to see a reckless driver get hers.

And that, my friends, was the coolest thing I've seen this far.


  • I love it..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:22 AM  

  • Nightstick makeover? That's the funniest thing I have heard all week.

    I hate drivers with a lack of courtesy, because on the road "Lack of Courtesy = Unsafe."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:25 AM  

  • It was a comforting memory as I climbed in my car this morning, knowing I'd be running the gauntlet.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:39 AM  

  • man i used to drive a freaking sportscar down the LA freeways and ruled the road! i miss California traffic! out there everyone went 85 miles per hour because if you didn't, you died. ;p i got hit by a drunk driver which made me drive like a blind great grandmother behind the wheel and then moved to arisona where people merge onto the goddamned freeway at 35 miles per hour. can you tell how lucky other people are that i dont drive anymore? lol

    the sad part about your story is she probably showed a little boobie and shed a few tears and he probably let her ass go. thats so shitty. (i love that word!)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:49 AM  

  • Yasamin, you'd be a road queen down here. It sounds like you were doing the Mad Max thing on the road.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:20 PM  

  • yeah i was soooo a tina turner with those giant earrings and white mohawk. driving like a maniac cursing in many foreign languages while running grown men in large trucks off the road. ;p

    hey i never said i had common sense.

    and i cant believe i spelled my own home state wrong (new home that is) ARIZONA!! lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:48 PM  

  • My favorite road-kharma event happened in the LA area with one of the standard 6-lanes-of-traffic-stopped-for-no-apparent-reason jams...We were trying to get to the airport when we get caught in the above mentioned SNAFU, so we're sitting there, idling, wasting gas, and getting more and more irritated at the folks on motorcycles who are whizzing past between the lanes and on the shoulder. (Probably my most homicidal moment ever - I was ready to open the car door the next time I caught one coming and see if I could make them do a flip or two)

    At any rate, when we finally got to the front of the line, we were greatly gratified to see a posse of CA's finest flagging down all those motorcycle drivers, and making them wait on the shoulder while they wrote out tickets.

    And we did manage to get to the airport in time, barely.

    By Anonymous sthnbelle, at 3:20 PM  

  • Bad driving a competitive sport - that is one of the funniest things I've heard in ages. I wonder if the speedway in Homestead could pick that up as a new sport...picture ESPN broadcasting...

    By Anonymous dogncatmom, at 4:35 PM  

  • Yeah, Yasamin I didn't want to say anything about Ari"s"ona, ha ha ha ha ha!

    I figured I'd save my jokes, especially since I already exposed myself to jokes w/that Dr. L admission.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:43 PM  

  • Ok, that was cool. It's a rare thing to see reckless drivers get pulled over like they deserve - it's about time someone caught it and told us!

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 5:12 PM  

  • lmao yeah i wasnt gonna say anything but you know how i feel about her and her books lol and the gifting of those books and her naked ass making me laugh and...

    meh. went too far. lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:33 PM  

  • At first I thought you were beginning a story where some total nut job ran a red light and got hit by a freakin' TRAIN. Here in the Triangle, running red lights is vying for a slot in the '10 Olympics. The belief that adjoining traffic has to wait for the last car to clear the intersection anyway, so why not stretch the definition of "the last car," is just getting too darned dangerous people. Stop the hell up if the light is red.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 6:05 PM  

  • Driving in Miami is like driving in Rome, Italy!! Crazy!! I love it, actually...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:07 PM  

  • I smile a wicked little grin everytime someone who really deserves it, gets it!

    By Blogger Dayngr, at 1:32 AM  

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