In the deep South we have a long-standing joke about pickup trucks: Should you purchase a used one (and it matters not if it is 2 or 20 years old) the safety belts and turn signals will be as new. That’s because they’ve never been used.

I doubt there is any question as to whether or not most folks are capable of operating their own motor vehicles on the public roads of Georgia. The eyebrow raising begins when we openly question their knowledge and application of the rules of the road as it applies to their driving.

You know, those fundamental elements that are required for the safe, courteous and defensive operation — the proper use of headlights and turn signals, grasping the distance to be maintained from the vehicle in front of you based on the prevailing speed, the difference between a broken and a solid line dividing two lanes, the one and only legal use of a middle turning lane, what the law actually declares the meaning of a traffic light when it turns to yellow and so forth.

The basic elements appear to be both absent and lost from a large percentage of today’s motorists.

Should the CrimeScene column in The Brunswick News be an indicator, the local police (county and city) are so busy dealing with DUIs, drugs and shoplifters from Walmart, they have little if any time leftover for traffic enforcement.

Ultimately this relegates total responsibility for safe, courteous, defensive driving to the motorist.

Robert Callahan


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