Imagine if somehow your mamma was sitting at home in front of the TV watching your finest exhibition of traffic manners. Would she be proud, or clutching her pearls? Are you a courteous driver or one that deserves an award for simply getting to your destination without having killed someone? Speeding. Tailgating. Cutting others off. Failing to use turn-signals. These are just a few discourteous traffic mannerisms that are all too common on our roadways.

Speeding: Like Maverick and Goose, I imagine some drivers firing up their vehicle spouting off, “I have a need, a need for speed!” Zoom-zoom, and away they go, without a care for anyone else on the road. I hate to spoil it for those trying to get up to 88 mph so they can head on back to the future, it ain’t happening. You will never be able to generate the required 1.21 gigawatts to make it happen. So slow down!

Tailgating: What in the sport of NASCAR is the driver thinking? Typically, the driver who is being tailgated takes on an attitude of their own. They slow down even slower as to agitate the driver behind them into a blood boiling tempest of road rage. Shame on you if you are the driver who carelessly creates the back up as well. That makes you complicit in the danger as well. However, in a “glass half full” world, maybe they are not trying to tailgate at all, rather they are aerodynamic experts attempting to cut fuel cost by drafting or slip-streaming the vehicle in front of them. Riiight! Regardless of how close you get, unless you actually cross the line and push the vehicle with your own, you are NOT going to make the car in front of you go any faster, most likely just the opposite. So back off!

Cutting others off: If ever a driver deserved a throat jab, it is the ones who cut others off. Your lack of navigational skills should not put other lives or property at jeopardy when you cross three lanes of traffic to make a left turn 30 feet before the turn approaches. There are turn lanes all along the highway for you to make a safe turn around and give it another shot. Why in the world would you risk life and limb in a one ton plastic and metal missile to get to a Dollar Store? There are five more just ahead. Stay in your lane!

Failing to use turn signals: This is a special one here. It is as if some vehicle manufacturers just stopped installing them. I mean, why not? It would probably save them $100 per vehicle. Next to a tape player, it is the least used piece of equipment in the entire vehicle. On the other hand, there are the drivers that seemingly cannot drive unless the blinker is on. Ever followed a vehicle past seven potential turning points only to continue going straight? Pure madness. It’s like the Joker himself is driving trying to stir up those around him into hysteria. We are not nosy, but we’d kind like a heads up before exchanging paint or bumpers as you go careening to a location only your eyes see. Use your signals!

I like to use a little humor in my articles, but the dangers we face while driving are no laughing matter. Why not use the same manners your parents (hopefully) taught you growing up. Instead of “Please” and “Thank you” or opening a door for someone, use some forethought in your driving characteristics.

Why do some people drive so recklessly? Maybe some glaze over once the drivers door closes and the cellular device becomes the new windshield. Maybe some just simply do not care about others on the road. But I encourage you to drive better, safer, and with more politeness. Your loved ones are on the roads. How would you want someone to drive around them?

These are the same drivers who get angry with me and my colleagues when we issue a hefty traffic citation for their unfriendly traffic behavior. My answer to that is drive safer and it wont be a pain in the wallet. But, this is just my opinion.

James Fansler is chief of police for the Town of Lake Placid. Email him at


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