(Black Press Media file photo)

Rickter Scale: A creep at the wheel

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

Rick Stiebel/Columnist

Congratulations to the woman in the blue Accord. You’ve just earned three nominations for induction into the West Shore Drivers Hall of Shame.

We’ll never know if you would have bowled over the two women in the crosswalk of the parking lot outside the Gazette’s office if I hadn’t bellowed out a warning. But judging by the startled, sheepish smile that spread across your face while you were hypnotized by your hand-held device, we can assume that it was too close for comfort, especially for the two ladies you nearly nailed. If they had looked away to check me out – a remote but plausible possibility considering they were slightly south of 70 and I was wearing what the bride describes as my sexy senior shirt – who knows how many lives would have changed forever on that sunny Wednesday morning.

There’s a special suite in the West Shore Drivers Hall of Shame reserved for you as well, the traffic circle jerks. Why you pound down the fast pedal and cut off whoever is rolling along at the prescribed speed limit in front of you a roundabout defies explanation. Unless it’s purely for the purpose of getting through the circle one spot sooner.

READ MORE: Rickter Scale

One half-wit habit that drives others to distraction is the flock who haven’t evolved enough to understand the intricacies of the turn signal. You know, that lever you never flick on the left-hand side of your steering column that lets those behind know if a left or right-hand turn is part of your future plans.

Another group of wheel cretins that completely curdle my consternation constantly is the multitude of motorists, many with an L or N attached to their rear end, who feel the need for speed on the Sookahalla. Although this situation unfolds 24 hours a day, it’s even more senseless and galling during rush hour. I’m talking about you, the driver who blows by you at 120 K plus just as the section of highway shrinks from two lanes to one. What is accomplished by that heart-stopping manoeuvre that scares the crap out of the poor soul you pass? If it’s to guarantee you get to where you’re going exactly one vehicle sooner perhaps it’s time to pay attention to the hollow echo that reverberates whenever you give your empty head a shake.

Equally offensive and dangerous is the driver who magically appears in your rearview mirror out of nowhere, hell bent on driving the rest of the way to or from Sooke six inches off of your back bumper in the passing lane, even though there’s another vehicle in front of you.

I get that life sometimes dictates the need to get from point A to points B, C and D quicker than we have time for. When you think about it, though, we’re all in the same seat, travelling in directions dictated by the hectic pace of schedules we struggle to control. So do us all a solid and slow down, share some common courtesy and reserve your Fast and Furious alter ego for video games and go-kart tracks.

Rick Stiebel is a semi-retired local journalist.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Speculation tax forces sale of Oak Bay’s ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read