Odd Thoughts: Bad drivers like cherry pies

I was busy in the kitchen, baking some cherry pies, when I heard that old song again… no, not the one about Billy Boy and the “young thing who cannot leave her mother.”

The song that interrupted my culinary reverie grates on the nerves every time I hear it, four or five times a night: it’s the song of tires squealing on tarmac as another jerk pulls away from the four-way stop like he’s trying out for the Mission Raceway.

But this time, our wannabe dragster added a refrain less frequently heard, a verse that stops the heart for a beat or two.

After the rubber-burning squeal came a frantic screech punctuated by a loud bang.

As I have done several times before, I threw on my garden shoes and ran out to the corner, ready to render assistance at the intersection of bad luck and poor judgment.

The luck wasn’t as bad as it sometimes is: a dented car, some property damage, but no injuries.

Not everyone at that intersection has fared as well.

The corner, it seems, has been a hot spot for calamity since long before I took up residence in its vicinity. My mailbox (before it was my mailbox) was once taken into police custody as a material witness in a fatal drinking-and-driving incident.

I suppose the intersection’s propensity for engagement with drivers with more confidence than brains was behind the decision some years ago to install a flashing red light to offer warning of the approach of potential tribulation.

Red flashing lights are just one way of compensating for a shortage of roadway responsibility. But at least it’s one of the cheaper forms.

When drivers insist on roaring through quiet neighbourhoods or over roads designed for slower transit, we spend major dollars to fix the roads, providing traffic-calming devices which those same drivers can blame instead of speed for their subsequent crashes or vehicle damage.

When people ignore signs warning drivers to slow down because an approaching corner is particularly dangerous and should be approached… well… more slowly, insufficient effort to stay on the road stops being the problem, and the blame is shifted to the corner itself.

We sometimes pay millions of dollars to smooth out a corner… so errant drivers can leave the road at greater speeds.

And as luck would have it, those cherry pies didn’t work out terribly well, either.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Geocaching attracted adventure seekers to new Langley City event

Dozens of teams came out to discover a mix of art and nature during a new treasure hunt.

Hobby cyclist hits Langley streets and wineries for MS

Tim Baillie has been mounting up for 14 years now, riding for the cause.

VIDEO: 10-year-old gives veteran lacrosse announcer a little help

Broadcast buddies Jake Elliot and Keagan Winterlik shared play-by-play duties at a Thunders game.

LETTER: Froese’s views on homelessness ‘degrading’

A Langley Advance reader calls statements from the mayor into question.

VIDEO: Langley’s hospital auxiliary pinches pennies to kick in $1.5 million for ER expansion

The auxiliary’s contribution is the largest single donation by the volunteer group.

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

SilverStar officially opens Gondola

The brand-new gondola is now offering scenic rides for visitors on SilverStar Mountain Resort.

VIDEO: Man climbs crane in Abbotsford

Police, fire called to deal with climber last night

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Most Read