Volume 90, Issue 99

Thursday, April 03, 1997

The Great One


Anal drivers a hazard to the rest on the road

Re: Inconsiderate drivers

To the Editor:

I would like to bring to attention the dangerous practice of a multitude of rude drivers in this city. The practice is that of blaring one's horn, screaming profanities at in-line skaters and expecting complete ownership of the road simply because one is in a motor vehicle. I have news for people in that category: wake up and share the road.

In-line skating comes under the same legal expectations as bicycling. A complication of in-line skating is that it is more dependent upon surface conditions than bikes, cars and even pedestrians are. When blading, one has to avoid sand, water, oil, tar and broken surfaces. The reasons for this are practical: it is extremely unsafe to blade over areas where grip is lessened and a continuous surface must be maintained while the wheels of the foot holding your weight are down.

The obligations to the in-line skater are clear. Often in-line skaters will use sidewalks, sometimes for the above reasons, and sometimes merely as a courtesy to cars. Aside from the above reasons, sidewalks are also avoided where pedestrian traffic is high, because the in-line skater may pose a threat to a pedestrian.

Finally, the attitude experienced from drivers in this city has appalled me with respect to the issue of sharing the road. Obviously not all drivers are this awful, but many still behave this way. Cyclists also get this (although less often). The other day I was buzzed by a Priority Post van, told that I should be on the sidewalk etc., by a passenger with a vocabulary limited to four-letter words (and his grade of education was probably as high). The reason it is so dangerous to blare your horn at a cyclist or in-line skater, is that it does frighten them and, initially, balance is thrown, as well as concentration. I can easily see an in-line skater being quickly run-over by one of these disgraceful drivers blasting their horn. The skater slips, falls below the view of the driver and becomes one with the pavement. Technically we are drivers too and we normally go as fast as we can when on the road, so give us a break and share the bloody road before it becomes one.

Aubrey Harris
Philosophy III

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997