I like to drive. When I finally passed my driven test and held my license in my hot little hands I was so excited to just be able to drive.
I grew up in a small town in Manitoba with a population of around 1,000…barely a blip on anyone’s radar. My best friend and I would drive around town every day and on weekends venture to a nearby town. We were so happy to have such freedom to go wherever we wanted to go, as long as we were back by midnight. When I graduated from high school I moved to “the big city” of Winnipeg, a couple of hours drive from home. Driving with so much traffic, so many intersections and OMG traffic lights!! was a huge change for me, but I embraced it.
I consider myself to be a good driver. When I was in high school “Driver’s Education” was a required course for future drivers and was provided free of charge as an extracurricular program. I am a defensive driver, I follow the “rules of the road” and adapt well to the conditions. I’ve never been so much as pulled over by police or given a parking ticket. I have always been able to adapt to driving whatever vehicle I’m given command of.
All of that being said, I HATE driving in Vancouver.
British Columbia does not require future drivers to partake in a Driving Education program, nor are driving lessons required. Everyday people are given authority to drive on major streets and highways with no more than what basic knowledge is found in a manual and the advice of those who are in the vehicle with them when they are on the road. Driving during rush-hour on any major street in the city, downtown or otherwise, is a terrifying experience. I’m blown away by the incredibly stupid driving mistakes that I see on a daily basis. I do my best to choose routes that are less traveled at times that don’t generally have high traffic volumes as well as using public transit as much as possible, but there’s no escaping the craziness!
Just this afternoon I was out running some errands. I spent about two hours on the road and was nearly run into by other drivers not paying attention to the traffic around them. I was driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic which had come to a standstill because of an accident being attended to by police further up the road and was almost rear-ended. After making a detour to avoid the accident and getting back on the correct path to get back home I ended up on another street with bumper-to bumper traffic and vehicles pouring in from side streets. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but if I am in the inside lane and people are turning right from a side street to the outside lane beside me my driving shouldn’t be affected, correct? Apparently that is not the case here. Unbelievable! The best part was when I was on a major street passing the side street before mine when a man in a car pulled up past the stop sign on the side street (the major road doesn’t have a traffic light or stop sign for this particular side street, therefore, I had the “right of way”) and started creeping out to “merge” into my lane as I’m driving 50kph…SERIOUSLY? Dude! You have a frackin’ stop sign for a reason!!! I honked at him to get his attention and let him know that I would be continuing through and that he should abide by his stop after which he waved me on as if to say “Oh, ok….I guess I’ll let you go ahead before me.” Thanks, buddy. You’re so kind, frakin’ idiot!!!
I have little patience for people who drive like dumbasses, it’s just not necessary! I’ve seen some incredibly stupid driving in the last six months and it blows my mind. At a merge, onto the HIGHWAY, a dude in oncoming traffic STOPS…in the middle of the HIGHWAY…to let me merge…WHAT!??!!?? Dude!! Change lanes…don’t stop on the frackin’ highway!! Often when lights turn yellow two and sometimes three cars will push their way through the intersection, obviously not clearing before the light has turned red. Dangerous not only for traffic but also for unsuspecting pedestrians!
I’ve learned fast to adjust to other people’s idiocy, but I will never accept and embrace the horrible driving here!