Dear Dick: Left-turn loser

Dear Dick,

Is it too much to expect that as a driver on the road, you actually pay attention as you wait to make a left hand turn?

Yes, the traffic lights sometime seem as thought they keep you waiting forever so it’s easy to think you have time to check your hair or makeup, take a bite of your sandwich, make a phone call or send a quick text message, but seriously Dick, you need to pay attention!

All too often I find myself waiting in a long line of cars to turn left and you, Dick, at the front of the line, aren’t paying attention to the light so you don’t notice that it has changed to green as immediately as you should have. By the time you realize it is your turn and you proceed through the intersection, the traffic light has only allowed time for you and maybe one other car to turn left before it turns red again. Dick, this lack of attention on your part frustrates me to no end!

Your lack of attention to the light, Dick, causes the frustrated drivers behind you to run red lights in desperation, attempting to escape having to wait through another round of light changes. This causes traffic that is trying to move in the other direction to wait for left hand turners to clear the intersection, long after their light has turned red and the other direction has a green, in order to avoid causing an accident.

Dick, as a driver at the front of a line of cars waiting to turn left, you have an obligation to your fellow drivers to pay attention to the light. You need to be ready to make your turn as soon as the light turns green and traffic is clear so that everyone behind you has an opportunity, in the near future, to make their turn without the risk of causing an accident or delaying the traffic traveling in the opposite direction.

So Dick, kindly do us all a favor. The next time you find yourself waiting at the front of a long line of cars to turn left, please resist the temptation to check yourself out in the mirror, take a long swig from your water bottle, send that text message or do anything other than pay attention to the road and drive!


Ms. Jamie Jarvis