(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

Saanich’s 20-year-old acting mayor encourages other young people get involved in politics

There is a ‘hunger for young voices’ in politics right now

Designs for Johnson Street Bridge waterfront areas hit delays

Upgrades to the Songhees Park, surrounding area being presented Thursday

Personal health scare inspires Sidney’s newest gym

Arne Jackson said the scare was a ‘wake-up call’

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

Most Read