I really wonder why so many people passed drivers ed. Oh wait, none is required in many North American cities like Calgary. Sure, they put in some graduated driver licensing program now but that still doesn’t really prevent anyone from climbing behind the wheel of oversized trucks – as long as they’re over 16, of course. Calgary seems to have some of the worst drivers in the world. I’ve been to all sorts of places – Tokyo, Paris, even Manila – and while all of those cities have interesting traffic patterns the stupidity I witness on Calgary roads some days is beyond shocking, in my humble opinion.
It kills people, people. We all know Canada’s gun policy is different from the US. One of the obvious reasons why it’s different it the simple fact that not allowing guns without a license prevents accidents and unnecessary deaths. Now gun laws is a sensitive topic I won’t get into. But did we conveniently forget cars kill too? My driving instructor told me a car is to be viewed as a deadly weapon – if handled incorrectly I have to assume it can kill people. This is why I went through formal driving lessons (mandatory by law in many European countries) which costed me close to three grand by the time I got my license at age 18, but it saved my life many times. On top of that I took, and paid for, on voluntary basis, a defensive driving class or two – which is simply a lot of fun. And it saves lives too – the amount of accidents I witnessed but wasn’t part of thanks to my driver education is countless. Without them I might have been killed or maybe would even have killed a pedestrian or (motor)cyclist myself.
It makes me wonder why there’s no formal drivers education in this town. It’s probably not something that’s decided on a city level, so pardon my ignorance but I would really hope mayor Nenshi makes introducing mandatory, formal driving lessons part of his todo list somehow. It creates jobs and saves lives. What more could you ask for? It saves cars and city property too, if you needed more reasons.
Until that’s in place – here’s some advice: just slow down, and think. Anticipate what other people are doing. We’re all just people on our way from A to B. Nobody is out to get you. So don’t assume you’re entitled to your spot on the road, or the fast lane. Don’t make any “quick” moves, especially without checking over your shoulders – it might just kill or damage whoever happened to be in your blind spot. Do you really need to be at the office five and half seconds earlier? The answer is you do not, ever.
Last but not least – if you drive a company car with a logo or phone number on there – you’re driving your business card. If you cut me off I will never, ever hire you. Not even if you’re the last plumber or fence/deck builder in town.