A few months ago I had to renew my driver’s license. Like most states my renewal was set to 6 years so it had been awhile since I had taken the written exam and visited the licensing station.
The last time I was there I was struck by the fact that they had a test that didn’t involve actually being able to read. You could, if necessary take a test that was based on nothing more than pictures and symbols, and if you passed that test, you were given a license to operate a 2000 pound plus piece of machinery, no questions asked.
When I went in this time, I had the study booklet with the written test in the back. I went through it and took the open book test fully expecting to be graded before my license was renewed. Much to my surprise, the guy that gave me my eye test told me they no longer graded the test for license renewals, only for first time testers. This just blew me away.
I think Kansas City has some of the worst drivers in America. Serious idiots behind the wheel. People that don’t pay attention, don’t obey the traffic laws, don’t know where they are going, do all sorts of stupid crap while driving like, exit to the right from the far left lane of the freeway, never come to a complete stop at a stop sign, fail to maintain position in their traffic lane, mash the gas at a solid yellow and end up running the red light. The list could go on for forever but there simply isn’t enough room here to cover it all.
All of this comes to the surface tonight, because for the 4th time in less than 48 hours I have almost been side swiped by some jack ass that has no clue as to what they are doing. 4 times, 4 separate intersections. If this were an isolated weekend experience it would be one thing, but more and more this is a common occurrence.
On Christmas day, I called 911 and turned in a driver on I-35 South that was drunk, weaving, and tossing beer cans out of his passenger window as he barreled down the road at 80 plus miles per hour. This was a unique event, but at the end of the day, people behind the wheel in this city are a bunch of idiots for the most part. (Not all of us, but enough to make me hate driving in this city any more).
I don’t get the leave 2 full car lengths between you and the car in front of you when stopped at a red light. I don’t get the I’m doing you a favor and waving you to go, even though I have the right of way, I’m holding up traffic, and causing a dangerous situation. I don’t get the “I don’t know where I’m going lets cut across 4 lanes of traffic at the last second and make a turn. I don’t get the inability to drive in the snow anymore. I don’t get the complete lack of understanding for the laws and rules of the road and driving. Oh, wait a second, maybe I do.
Since our written exams are no longer graded, or checked on one side of the state line; and since we are not required to actually take a physical driving test once we get our license in this country, it makes a lot of sense now. We get lazy and forget. Some of us weren’t that good to begin with and this just compounds the issue. And some of us are lazy, weren’t that good, and figure we’ll never get in or cause an accident to begin with. Frankly I think it sucks.
I wish to hell that every 4 years, every person in this country not only had to take an eye exam, they had to take and pass the written test (not open book format), and they had to take and pass the real driving test. Behind the wheel with a traffic officer in the passenger’s seat grading everything you do. Maybe, just maybe things on American roads would improve then.