A non-FTI affiliated observation for today:
I think I would like to open an advanced techniques traffic school. This would be for experienced drivers whom wanted to further their abilities in normal traffic. Not to make money. Simply to educate people on proper technique. Priority No 1: left turns into oncoming traffic at an intersection.
Yesterday, I spent 4 rotations of a green light cycle waiting in a left hand turn lane while the motorist at the front of the line couldn't/ wouldn't/didn't have the proper ability to advance any further. It's damn frustrating as it is, sitting in line, while traffic is so heavy that you can't advance. It is quite another thing when you begin to realize that the reason you are waiting is that the driver at the head of the line is too timid to get into the intersection, wait for traffic to clear, and make the damn turn! I was third in line at an intersection behind a wide, dual axled, 3/4 ton pick up truck whom (it later was determined) was behind a mini van at the front of the line. When I arrived, the green light had just turned yellow with a constant stream of oncoming traffic advancing the other way. My thought was at least I would be in second position on the next green arrow. Too my surprise, the light turned red and no one advanced. I figured the guy in the truck was a bit shy, but, hey I can wait. Next green arrow, he doesn't move but there are a ton of cars coming at us, so I figure he will just get out there at the last minute before the light turns. Red arrow again and now I am starting to get a bit concerned. The third cycle begins and now I hear a constant horn beginning to blow. I then hear another 2 horns start honking (honking horns is contagious, isn't it?). Not wanting to miss out on the fun, I start honking my horn as well. Three guys from the machine shop on the corner come out of their shop to check out the source of commotion and and start pointing at the front of the line. The guy in front of me rolls down his window, gets his face in the mirror, and gives me the 2 palms up sign. This is when I stick my head out the window and realize that a middle aged woman is driving a minivan and not getting her ass in gear and getting out of the way. Finally, at the end of this cycle, she s-l-o-w-l-y eases around the corner and ends the frustration. Total time elapsed : 4 minutes.
Now my life is not so busy that I can't wait four minutes for anything. I certainly do not advocate anyone taking unwise chances in traffic in order to make a turn. There is a mindset, however, that in order to be pleasing to everyone, you need to accommodate anyone. I don't buy that thinking. When the light turns green, pull into the intersection, and wait until there is room to make the left. If no room appears and you are still in the intersection when the light turns red, the cross-traffic will be inconvenienced for about a second as you complete the turn and go on you way. That's it.
Lesson Over. We accept Visa and Mastercard.