Friday, July 5, 2013

[Driving in BC] Road Rage and I was right technically, but not morally.

"MVA section 179(1) says that a driver must yield the right of way to a 
pedestrian crossing the highway in a cross walk if the pedestrian
 is on the half of the highway on which the driver is traveling,
 or is approaching so closely from the other half of the highway
 that he or she is in danger."

Today was run an errand day. If only to get rid of my collection of empty bottles before I have a guest stay over. (I even brushed down the gerbil. Freddie was unamused.) So I dropped off the bottles, got greeted as "Battery Lady!" (I gave one of the worker's trucks a boost one day), and was on my way. I decided turning left out of the depot is too much of a giant pain in the ass so I went into the Cooper's parking lot to loop around and come back onto Keith Wilson. So, there I was, turning left onto Vedder from Keith Wilson.

There were two pedestrians, one heading west and one heading east. The one heading east was an older lady who wasn't walking very quickly, so both pedestrians met on the far side of the road. As in, not the side I was turning onto. I had a big box van behind me driving up my tail pipe as if wondering why I hadn't just mowed down the pedestrian heading west and turned left already. With both ladies on the western side of the meridian, I turned left. This resulted in the older lady, who had reached the middle after I was already several car lengths down Vedder to gesture rudely at me and yell after my car. I pulled into a parking lot, Scottish temper saying "Chase her down and tell her what for!" but managed to calm and tell myself 'So not worth it.'

Fate then planted this lady to have been heading into the building beside the parking lot and she stopped to talk to the guys in the black minivan that was parked at the entrance. This is where I should have shut up, crouched down and just let things go. Unfortunately, I escalated. I said "Hey, are you the lady who was yelling at me at the cross-walk?" To which she said yes and started to lecture me. I said "Ma'am, I was in the right. You were not in my lane or close to it, I was not doing anything illegal, nor were you in any danger." I should have said my side of the street rather than lane. She proceeded to yell at me about how her husband was hit at Vedder and Watson/Promontory which really didn't surprise me, you take your life in your hands crossing there due to the dump trucks that don't stop at the red light and turn into the left lane instead of the right. I tried again to be forcefully polite, she yelled some more I went back to my car.

Now, this is the point I should really have Just Let It Go! She decided to talk loudly, maybe its the only mode she has, about what an idiot I am, and how bad drivers like me are the reason so many pedestrians die every year, and yada yada. I may have gotten a little short tempered and got out of my vehicle and slammed the door. I was mad. I let bad judgement and temper get the better of me. I should have sat in my car, listened to Pantera loudly until I calmed down and driven off. I should not have escalated.

Escalation really consisted of her grandson telling me politely that he'd just done his L and I was wrong (I wasn't) and his grandmother yelling at me, talking over me, and then saying she was calling the cops. I said okay and asked if she wanted my driver's license? She said no, she had my license plate and that ties me to the incident. I said, not really, it ties me to the *car* and if I leave I can claim it wasn't me driving, she should really take my BCDL number. (Okay, I was riling her up at this point, and I really should have resisted temptation) I corrected her when she reported my license plate wrong. She missed the irony there. Anyway, I went back to my car, turned it on and got ready to leave for a third time. She yells something like "Yeah leave, the cops are on their way!" so I said "Oh, okay." and reversed back into a parking space to wait. I cleaned up my car a little, I listened to some music, I waited.

It was actually a surprisingly quick response of about two minutes. The Mountie pulled in, listened to her rant about my bad driving and didn't even look my way (Probably for the best for her since I know him and he knows and he likes me). He then backed out, hit his siren a couple times and did a reversing left turn to continue on his way to wherever he had been going. The grandson quickly got in the van and he and the driver left while his grandmother didn't quite flee into the Yoga place. (She needs the meditation. I probably do too!)

Now, I'm pretty sure the RCMP's attitude was"Why are you bothering me with this $#!^ ?" and politely explained to her that I was actually technically in the right which is why not one of them came across to tell me how wrong I was or lecture me further. But, I should have let it go. SHE should have let it go. We both got our Irish up (as the saying goes) and had a stupid argument about a stupid non-event. She was upset about her husband being hit and probably extra sensitive, I was upset about other things and and let that colour things not to mention letting the guy behind me drive my car.

Its so easy to see how road rage events happen! I think I'm going to give my rear view mirror mouse a sign that says "Calm!" It's kinda scary how upset I was. My hands were shaking for a good ten minutes after! Definitely time to have a chat with the inner me about calm and well being. It didn't matter if I was being polite, I shouldn't have got involved in the first place.

I will confess, however, I'm enough of a petty wench that when I got home and double checked the motor vehicle act to give a tongue out and "NYAH!" in the general direction of the yoga place. But the mantra for today's "inner focus" session shall be "Don't get out of the car! Let it go!"

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