July 21, 2005

Stupid drivers!

Yesterday I saw something that really made my blood boil. The family and I where driving to KFC after picking up my wife from work. We came across a motor vehicle accident. There were multiple squad cars and an ambulance on the scene. As we were approaching, it appeared that they where almost done cleaning up. A Flatbed tow truck pulled away carrying a Dodge truck with severe front-end damage. At that point, I noticed that the front end of the ambulance was also severely damaged. It pissed me off to no end to see that. Why? What if that had been your Husband, Wife, Son, Daughter, Mother, Father, etc in the back of the ambulance?

People, driving is not a constitutional right, driving is not something you can do half-assed, driving is not a game. Daily I see idiots that make “brilliant driving maneuvers” such as making a left turn from the right lane, weaving in and out of traffic doing 15+ over the speed limit, cutting people off, and just plain not paying attention to their surroundings. That type of driving behavior is what leads to most accidents. These are also the same people that when an accident occurs are the first to yell, “It’s not my fault!” Do you want to know something? It is your fault. The majority of it is your fault. Sure, the other driver should be paying attention and have escape routes just in case of idiots like you. However, if you weren’t driving like you have cranial-rectum disease it would have happened either.

What makes this worse then a regular accident is that it involved an ambulance. You know the big boxy things that drive down the road usually painted in easy to see colors and with lights for even greater visibility. Just in case you are blind they have this loud handy device called a siren, but you might not hear that due to the excessively loud music you’re blaring out of your speakers. Some people may be willing to give the benefit of the doubt and say that either the ambulance was empty, not running lights and sirens, or caused the accident. I tried to find the local news source for this story online, unfortunately I couldn’t find one, so I’ll paraphrase from the local rag, er newspaper that has the story. The ambulance was rushing a patient to a local hospital when the driver of the truck ran a red light and struck the ambulance. The driver of the truck was ticketed for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and a red light violation. The patient in the back of the ambulance had to be picked p by a second ambulance.

I worked in law enforcement for many years. After working in that field I’ve come to the conclusion that lights and sirens on emergency vehicles are a waste. Many people just do not pull over for emergency vehicles. It doesn’t matter if it is a fire truck, police car or ambulance, they just don’t care! People are more worried about getting to their destination faster, then the rules of the road. On numerous occasions, I’ve actually witnessed drivers using emergency vehicles to help themselves get through traffic. When others pull over, the asshole drivers speed around them. Then there are the ones that just blatantly ignore the emergency vehicles. Every one else has pulled right, they however have to make a left turn half a mile up and continue on their merry way to their turn. Then because of traffic in the oncoming lane, they can’t move and end up blocking the road, slowing down the emergency vehicle.

Personally, I would love to see them install cameras on all Fire Trucks, Ambulances and Police Cars just to track the vehicles around them when they are running lights and sirens. If someone is driving like an idiot, the owner of the vehicle gets a $200.00 to $5,000.00 fine (Depending on the nature of the response and number of offenses). Make it so these tickets can’t be removed from your record by going to traffic court. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but all I can think of is if it was my loved one that needed help and that help arrived just seconds too late because of idiots not getting out of the way.

What do you think? Do you have this problem where you live, or is this unique to Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin?

Posted by Contagion in Rants and Raves at July 21, 2005 04:21 PM | TrackBack

I hope the guy in the ambulence is ok. If not, they should charge that idiot with his death.

As for people not pulling over. It's totally totally totally wrong.

However, I do get irritated by one thing, although it's NOT an excuse. I ALWAYS pull over. But, I hate to see when emergency vehicles use it to get by just to avoid traffic. I saw a cop do that today. Now, yes, there are times that there may be a reason for it. But knowing some law enforcement and paramedics, I know it's used to their advantage sometimes too.

Like I said, that's NEVER an excuse. But I bet it's the excuse of those who don't pull over.

We could give law enforcement and paramedics huge monster trucks and they could just roll over whoever did not move.

Posted by: Sissy at July 21, 2005 04:35 PM

For years I have heard people say cops use their lights so they don't have to wait at a traffic light. I never met one that has, but I know plenty of people who do that, "I know a guy who's cousin is a cop and he...". Now I've done, and seen other cops do something that looks like that, but usually they are responding to a call that they don't want to run sirens and lights for some reason. IE bank alarms and the criminal is still in the building. You have to remember most of the time when cops are driving their squads they are on the job... not a lot of personal time there.

Posted by: Contagion at July 21, 2005 05:51 PM

Not a problem around my neck of the woods, but then again it's relatively rural. People practically FLING themselves onto the shoulder, even when the ambulance is coming the other way, and the only thing on their side of the road is a meadow, so they KNOW the ambulance isn't going to turn in front of them.

Posted by: Harvey at July 21, 2005 09:05 PM

I've seen a Loves Park cop flip his lights, go through a red, and pull into a Wendy's for lunch.

It's rare, but some of them do it.

Posted by: Graumagus at July 22, 2005 01:22 AM

Grau, are you sure of what you saw? IE are you positive he was not responding to something?

Posted by: Contagion at July 22, 2005 07:02 AM

On Sunday, we were going out to dinner with friends.

At a light, waiting to go across the street (green light for us) and we see a Ambulance coming, full lights and sirens, everyone sees it.

Exept the old lady who didn't look (on the other side of the road from us, green light) or wonder as to why every one was stopped dead just went right on through the light only to have to slam on her brakes when the Ambulance came within feet of hitting her and the ambulance coming pretty close to us when they swerved to not hit her.

Dumb ass.

Posted by: Machelle at July 22, 2005 08:00 AM

where Grau, LJ, and I used to live there is a donut shop. I know this sounds cliche but on several occassions we say police officers use their lights and pull into their.
I also was nearly ran off the the road when a police van came out of the alley behind Leasure Tymes with lights and sirens blaring to see the same police van blow all the stop lights to pull into the McDonalds on Auburn street.
I whole-heartedly believe people need to get out of the way of sirens, and I too have seen way too many dipshits out there that do not care. My point is that sometimes people have abused the authority given by their sirens. As for me, I just pull to the side no matter which way I hear the siren.

Posted by: jay at July 22, 2005 08:29 AM

Contagion: I also went into that Wendy's, and the cop was ordering when I went in.

It's rare, but some of them do abuse the system.

Plus Loves Park cops are assholes.

Posted by: Graumagus at July 22, 2005 11:20 AM

I'll never understand why some people are in SUCH a hurry all the time. Between being impatient and utter ignorance, I sometimes don't know how there aren't MORE accidents.

But I must live closer to Harvey (at least in my mind...I feel dirty now)...we have the same situation where I live (NOT where I work). I once saw someone pull so far off the road for a fire truck that they got stuck in a ditch...

Posted by: Ogre at July 25, 2005 10:17 AM