Letters to the Editor

What happened to the ‘good old days’ of courtesy, compassion and forgiveness? | Letter

For those of us that are growing weary, isn’t it amazing to look around us and see how astonishing the world has changed? You go to a restaurant, and couples sit across from each other, each consumed by their own device, be it a cell phone, laptop computer or one of these new tablets. How sad that they are totally oblivious to the most important thing: each other!

And when you’re driving, it’s a whole different world than it used to be. And the funny part is that the rules that used to be are still the rules in place, but something seems to have changed.

And how astonishing is the number of cars where the driver is holding a cell phone in his or her hand, even with all of the media attention today about the dangers, the fines and the tragedies of its consequences.

I recall seeing a news story where a beautiful young girl about 18 years old, was driving, and got four words into her text, and was hit head on and lost her life. What an absolute tragedy that didn’t have to happen.

Every day, I see situations on the road that seem to be more and more “accepted.” And it seems we don’t have the manpower to enforce the laws, so therefore it will continue to happen no matter how wrong it is, a rather vicious cycle.

When did we get away from leaving one car length for every 10 mph between the car in front of us and ourself? When did we get away from being able to see daylight under the car in front of us?

When did it become the “norm” to drive in the left lane, even when there is no one in front of you? I watch cars pull to the right lane to pass and then return to the left lane. Doesn’t the law say to keep to the right, except to pass? Isn’t the left lane for passing?

When did we stop yielding the right of way to cars already on the highway before we enter onto the highway?

When did stop signs become slow-down signs?

When did we stop using our directional lights to “ask” the car next to us if we can pull into the next lane? And then wait for that motorist to say “OK” and make room for us to do so?

When did it become acceptable to set your cruise control for 10-plus mph above the speed limit, rather than at the speed limit?

And when did solid white lines change? Do half of the motorists that are driving even know that a solid white line means “stay in lane” and that you MUST wait until the line breaks and becomes dashed before you can then cross? Especially when exiting and entering onto the highway? I wonder.

So, if the budget says we can’t hire any more enforcers, and the enforcers already have more than they can handle, what should we expect to change? Or do we have to succumb to the fact that even though it’s not right, those who don’t know the rules of the road prefer it to be this way?

Bad people are breaking into cars, getting people’s addresses and then driving to their homes and robbing them. Good people don’t want to carry their registrations in their cars to protect themselves from this. Who wins?

They say change is good. I’m sure in some cases that’s true. But I can’t help wonder if some of the “old” ways wouldn’t be better for us today.

The “old days” seemed so much simpler. And we had time for each other. What’s stopping us from returning to the “good old days” of courtesy, compassion and forgiveness?

Where exactly is everyone going that it matters how quickly they get there? And no matter at what cost?

Gary Hall, Redmond

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