The vast majority of the traffic laws make a great deal of sense (although there are a lot of things missing, from an ex traffic cop's perspective), and only a few seem rather silly, which isn't a bad ratio really, is it?
Unfortunately it has been my experience that a majority of Canadian drivers make not very much sense, and when in their cars conduct themselves much as a Roman Emperor might do in a food fight: causing havoc for everyone else while under the misguided impression that they will never be hit. Here I must pause, take a few deep breaths and calm the hell down, since I have ranted on the subject of local driving standards (or rather, the lack of them) more than once before, and it is still a subject that rankles. Just so you know, the second time I ranted on that subject was under doctor's orders, after a particularly reckless episode of corner-cutting resulted in me driving straight home, taking to my room and wearing a Bugs Bunny suit for twelve hours.
Ahh...corner-cutting. I seem to have subconsciously segued into my reason for typing today... I like that - it makes me feel kinda sexy (I'm in a strange mood, so just roll with it for today, OK?)...
In this, my home and native land (well, sort of), intersections between roads are marked out in a simple way - in other words, in ways which indicate that drivers are expected to stay on their own side of the road both when entering or exiting a road. It's not much to ask, really - or it wouldn't be, if we weren't in North America, where driving seems to involve the least amount of effort possible under all circumstances.
Thus, I find that as I approach a stop line prior to turning left or right, at least once per day, some grotesquely unintelligent bacterium behind the wheel of a car will cut the corner, drive across my side of the road, and narrowly avoid taking the front end of my vehicle with them. On one particularly impressive occasion, a member of the human race - who had clearly been genetically predestined for calamity - cut across the intersection I was approaching, and continued along the road, straight towards me. Fortunately I managed to come to a full stop before he hit my car (my lovely, almost brand new car, by the way) head on. Even more fortunately, I subsequently managed to stop my fist before it met the bridge of his nose.
Faced with the rather damning evidence of both our cars being on my side of the road yet facing in opposite directions, and following my graceful declining of the $200 cash he offered to me at the scene (It went something like: "I give you money, and we forget about it, yes?" *waves wad of money* followed by my "Oh no you fucking don't, matey!"), the matter was subsequently sorted out (the repairs cost over $2000), but it left an indelible mark on me. It cemented the idea within my brain that the drivers over here really are as bad as I think they are in my most curmudgeonly moments. Which leads me to my question: why do I keep getting the hairy eye ball when I'm following the rules?
Now I'm not one of those fuddy-duddy lane hogs who tries to enforce the speed limit upon everyone else, but when it comes to intersections, I consider it rather sensible that we do all stay on our own side of the road. At stop signs/lines I position my car properly - it's easy and it makes sense. However - and this is what bugs me several times a day - why does every driver turning into the road that I'm waiting to turn out of, give me a look which suggest that they harbour dark ideas about how best to prove once and for all that the surface area of my intestines would cover a full size tennis court? Aside from them being so strangely committed to the idea, I have to admit that conveying that impression takes some doing with one look - yet damn it, they do!
Expressions range from this:
You will be pleased to know that I have now pasted this image onto my driver's side window: