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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 02/01/2011 : 2:42:41 PM
By Paul Dale Roberts
I just came back from Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. What I noticed is that the islanders do not place a white strip in the middle of the road to divide the two way traffic. As I was a passenger with Jeff & Joanne Pronger Faulkner going from Negril, Jamaica to Montego Bay, Jamaica, my heart skipped a beat every time I saw a vehicle approaching our vehicle head on. At the last moment, Jeff was in his proper lane and the oncoming driver was in his proper lane.
What is amazing is that Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic have a low fatality rate and car crashes are at a minimal.
As I came back home to Sacramento, I have witnessed all kinds of crazy driving. Example: At the last minute a car goes from the fast lane and bee lines across 5 lanes and jumps on the Madison exit. When he did this, it appeared that he was going to get hit by other vehicles, but miraculously some way, some how he actually safely exits onto the Madison exit. This was a trick that would make Criss Angel blink.
My business partner Shannon McCabe delivers flowers on the side and she has to deal with the freeway all the time while she makes her deliveries. What irritates her the most is the drivers that rudely cut her off in traffic. She has avoided so many near misses, it has her at times rattled after a delivery.
Sacramento keeps growing and as the population grows, our freeways are getting more congested and the drivers of our freeways are getting more reckless. How many people say they hate driving in San Francisco or Los Angeles traffic? Now, I hear more and more people saying they are dreading their commute to work every day, because of all the crazy drivers.
When you see death on the roadways, it shakes you up enough to become the best defensive driver that you can be. Living in Sacramento, I have seen two deaths on our roadways that stay with me always. One time as I was driving down 16th Street and I reached the exit towards the 80 freeway, the traffic slowed down to a snail’s pace. As I passed a crashed vehicle, I saw a lady with her eyes open with the side of her head against her popped out airbag. I thought she was still alive, but later when I read the newspapers, I learned she was dead. I was looking into a dead woman’s open eyes. She was hit by a driver that was driving up the wrong way.
Another death I witnessed is when a African American man was hit by a bus at Laguna Blvd and Franklin Blvd in Elk Grove. He was jogging and the bus hit him at the stop light. He was laying in the street, deader than dead and I pulled over to call 911 on my cell phone.
You also hear about road rage on our roads. I experienced road rage in the most unusual spot. One night when Tower Books was still Tower Books, I pulled into the parking lot, as I got out of my car, I accidently hit another car with my car door. A man jumped out of the car swearing at me, he had a gun in his waist band, when I saw that, I jumped in my car quickly. I tried to apologize, but he slowly started pulling out his gun. I was thinking…”I’m going to be killed, because I hit his car with my car door?” I placed the car in reverse and high tailed it out of there. As I drove home, every car I saw, I thought it was his car. It scared me to death.
With these three vivid memories, I keep a watchful eyes on our freeways, roadways and even our public parking lots. When I see a crazy speeding motorist getting pulled over by the CHP, I only smile. Maybe now this maniac will finally slow down.
Paul Dale Roberts, HPI General Manager
aka The Demon Warrior
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