22 August 2010


My midwife's office is located in a neighborhood with very straight, narrow roads. Many of the intersections in this area are four-way stops; many are two-way stops; and some are just intersections where one person has no stop and the other has a yield sign. I had never really encountered yield signs, apart from merging, until living in Utah, where they are used quite abundantly in neighborhoods. They are actually quite nice because when you approach them, you just need to slow down and have a look around you rather than coming to a full stop.

I've noticed when I drive in this particular neighborhood that many people come to full stops even if they don't have to. I think it is just habit because there you are driving along when you approach an intersection and see that there are other cars to your left and right that have stopped. You don't happen to have a stop sign, but you see that these other cars are stopped and assume you are at a four-way. But usually people just slow down a bit, look around and realize they don't need to stop. I drive very carefully in this neighborhood because the intersections can be confusing.

On Wednesday I was driving North and I came to an intersection in which the northbound and southbound drivers had neither a stop nor a yield sign. The eastbound and westbound drivers, however, had a yield sign. As I approached the intersection, an eastbound driver was also approaching the intersection. Because I was turning to go East, I slowed down, and it was a good thing, too. Because this lady just plowed right on through the intersection not even realizing that she had completely ignored a traffic sign that gave me the right-of-way.

I rarely honk at people, but I honked at this lady. It was partly because I was irritated, but also because she seemed completely oblivious as to her error. I wanted her to realize that she needed to pay better attention to the signs.

And then, what do you know? But she turned into the medical offices parking lot that I was turning into. (We were at the intersection by our medical offices when the near-miss occurred.) I went into my midwife's check-in area, which due to construction in the building is now being shared with some OB/GYNs. Incidentally, this lady went to the same place. As I was checking in with one of the midwife's secretaries, this lady was checking in to see an OB/GYN. While she was checking in I heard her tell the secretary that she had been having contractions for 18 hours, and they were now spaced 5 minutes apart.

I began to feel a little sheepish.

But then, when I was leaving, she was leaving too, and the secretary asked her where she was going. She replied that the doctor told her that her contractions were not strong enough and to call at a later point.

I do feel a little bit badly about honking at a lady in labor. But I also don't. Lady, if you are in labor, you maybe are not qualified to be driving.


heidikins said...

Um, if you are presumably in labor it seems to be the BEST POSSIBLE time to obey traffic laws. Nothing like getting in a car accident moments before giving birth to ruin you (and your baby's) day/health/etc.


Brianne said...

And all the more reason to drive safely... I support your honk.

Ana said...

TOTALLY with heidikins and Brianne! (But then again knowing me - you'd know I would be). In fact I regularly call and dob people in - like the time someone thought it would be a GREAT idea to back down the motorway where the speed limit was 100k - FANTASTIC!!! (I was returning home from Mosgiel)

I called in about some guy who neglected to pay for parking cos DUDE - if I have to pay a ridiculous amount of money just to park for 10 mins to drop my kid off at a party at McDs then you have to TOO!!!

OR last week some idiot decided that double parking down a narrow side street with parking only allowed on ONE side (ie. effectively cutting off the street) would be perfectly fine - this left me having to back around a blind corner - luckily no oncoming traffic!

Also just last week in Dunedin apparently a woman, after being involved in a car crash thought it wise that she speed off from the scene at 200k (because she was drinking and people always make the best decisions when drunk....possibly didn't want a ticket?) - then she had another crash I think somewhere round Andy Bay Rd - and the miraculous thing - NO ONE dead, one person had to be cut from their car, despite this idiotic woman's actions.
- times like these I am SO shocked by how moronic people can be that I don't even honk my horn. Just too blown away by their STUPIDITY.

Alicia K said...

I do support your honk, and i also question why she was driving while in labour. I for one can't tolerate sitting in a car while my belly aches with labour pains, i would not dear get behind the wheel while its happening.

Angela Noelle of SK said...

If you birth and drive, you're a bl**dy idiot.

I said it.

Alice said...

Well I think the Honk was needed. I want to tell you one of my memories of your Granddad Van Dalsem was him commenting about how he love Yield signs an believed they were allot better than stop signs.

Ana said...

I think most people treat Stop signs as if they were Yield (Giveway) signs.