Thursday, April 24, 2008

Letter of the Law

I was on my way home last night and came up to the intersection which leads into my neighborhood. There’s a traffic light system with a designated left turn lane which works on the “bump” system; your front wheels have to drive over the actuator or the left turn light doesn’t acknowledge your presence, and even then you have to wait a full light sequence for it to kick in.

I drove up and waited for a few moments, noticing there was no traffic coming from the other direction for at least a quarter of a mile and made my left turn without waiting for the green light to “give me permission”. I violated the letter of the law; not that many police officers would have written me up. The time of day along with road conditions determine whether or not the “spirit of the law” was also violated; after all, traffic lights are intended to provide safe passage for drivers, not unnecessarily detain them.

This morning while on my way to a locksmith job at one of my car dealerships I noticed an 18 wheeler broke down in the left turn lane at a major intersection with nothing to let folks stacking up behind him know he was broke down. There was a woman in a mini-van directly behind the broken down 18 wheeler and her left turn blinker was flashing away. The other drivers figured it out and carefully extracted themselves from the left turn lane as they eased into the next lane; but not the woman in the mini-van, a determined law abiding citizen with no intention of violating any traffic law.

I finished my job and returned along the same route only to observe the same mini-van waiting for the broken down 18 wheeler to move up. The woman had her head pressed against the driver side window attempting to see what the problem with the light was, never once did it occur to her to go around. She must have been sitting there with her blinker on at least twenty minutes dutifully obeying the letter of the law; not changing lanes once she past the solid painted stripe on the road surface indicating the point of no return, she was permanently committed to the left turn lane.

You probably are wondering why this information was shared; to be honest, it never was intended as anything other than amusing. This is an election year and it would seem painfully obvious that some folks who committed themselves to a particular candidate might wish to take in new information which would cause a change of course. Being reminded that one particular candidate running has a track record for being unable to tell the truth might be important. Learning how one particular candidate has close associations with corruption and spent twenty years listening to a pastor who hates America and has ties to home grown terrorists might also be important.

I figure these folks are much the same as the woman sitting behind the broken down 18 wheeler in the left turn lane. They lack the rational ability to alter their course and, even when they know something is broken, they are determined to remain locked in.

I heard a friend of mine at church explain that the whole church could be run on two cents, “Common Sense and Horse Sense”. I sure hope more of the voters will have come to their senses by the time November comes around.

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