Why do they do that?
“How stupid can you be?!”
Yeah I did. I lost my composure and yelled at Mr. Head-up-his-@$$ as he stopped at the stop sign NEXT TO ME, 3/4 in the oncoming lane. Lucky for him the car on our left was not turning right. I don’t think he heard me in his insulated BMW. He was busy waving the other motorist through the intersection.
This happens to me regularly on residential roads. Today it was at Chelsea and Plaza Terrace. It’s happened there a number of times. It happens frequently at 4-way stops in College Park. It once happen to my group of Road 1 students in Oviedo, despite my straight-arm, position near the center line and bright yellow “cycling instructor” shirt. The motorist ran the stop sign in the oncoming lane as the group stopped. Last week a guy passed me at high speed within a few meters of the stop sign at Fairgreen and Primrose and almost hit another car head on as it turned onto Fairgreen.
What the heck is wrong with these people?
I could maybe understand the mindless stupidity if I was somehow facilitating it, but I don’t. I don’t ride near the edge of the lane anywhere. When approaching a stop sign, I actively discourage passing by riding in the left half of the lane and signal that I’m stopping. If a motorist seems antsy, I use the straight-arm “don’t pass.” I did that today, right after an oncoming car went by and I knew we were too close to the stop sign for him to pass.
Of course, it works on the majority of drivers. But the minority still contains distressingly large numbers. I’d love to be provincial and blame it on Orlando drivers, but I’ve seen it everywhere (except Dallas, but I’m sure it happens there too). It’s puzzling to me that I regularly operate conflict-free on busy roads, even high speed roads, and yet run into this stupid behavior consistently on quiet streets.
So far, it’s been more irritating than dangerous. But I’m sure you can imagine the potential. This is not a behavior that would be responsive to education or awareness. It’s completely mindless— it’s checked-out cager-coma behavior. If we tugged their craniums out of their leather bucket seats and showed them a video of it, I bet they couldn’t even tell us why they did it.
Sorry for the rant. The endless heat is making me cranky.