Monday, July 3, 2017

DRIVING ETIQUETTE MISSING ON BROWNSVILLE STREETS

By Juan Montoya
Remember when local residents used to complain of drivers with cars bearing Mexican license plates?
Sometimes these drivers would go the wrong way on a one-way street, slow down because they didn't know where a certain store was, or, out of precaution, drive slower than the speed limit. Locals would see their plates and shake their heads in disapproval at their driving habits.
"They'd be driving like hell if they were in Matamoros," someone would inevitably complain.

Well, this came to mind today as we drove around procuring the makings for the Fourth of July barbecue like charcoal, fuel, a bird or two, sausage, ribs, etc.
We observed some local drivers who have developed some horrible drivers habits themselves. Do you know any of these driver species?

The Cross-Corner Driver: This is the guy who is so impatient to get to where he's going that he will come to a red light where he wants to turn right, drive into a gas station or business on the corner, and go around the parking lot to get to the cross street without having to wait like the rest of us. The one we saw today came speeding out of the parking lot into the side street and nearly struck a car that was edging away from a gas pump onto the same street. He honked and stepped on the gas even harder and...had to stop because the light had already changed and traffic was moving on the lanes.

The Arrow Ignoring Driver: You come to a stop with three lanes. The southbound intersection of Old Port Isabel Road and Boca Chica Blvd. that turns into McDavitt on the other side is a good example. The left one is to turn left. The center one is to go straight. And the one on the right is to go right only. The arrows are clearly marked right below the traffic light. But it never fails. The driver on the right-only light decides to go straight and steps on the gas. If the driver in the center light does not take the precaution and glances over to his right, it is probable that he will crash into the speeding driver who decided to go straight instead. Watch out for this guy.

The Distracted Driver: You come to a protected left turn with an arrow light that turns green to allow the left-turning traffic to pass (and left turning oncoming traffic as well) as at the corner of eastbound Price Road and northbound Old Port Isabel Road. The driver ahead of you seems to be unaware that the green arrow light has come on and remains stopped. You decide to give him time to react, and don't honk at him for a little while. Then, exasperated that he still has not moved, you honk as the green arrow light turns yellow and then quickly red. He speeds off and turns onto Old Port Isabel and no one else behind him is able to turn until the next green arrow because the oncoming traffic already got a green light and is moving forward.

The Real Estate Speculator: You come to an intersection and fall in behind a driver who seems to think that an intersection is a place to gawk at the real estate around it to see what is up for sale. There is no hurrying this guy. Sometimes he is engrossed in an obviously deep conversation with a passenger and gesticulates with his free hand and slows down to emphasize his point as he cruises across the intersection.

The Front-End Intruder: You're driving on Boca Chica with two lanes and a left-turning lane at cross roads. You are driving on the right lane and there is another car driving next to you in the lane to your left. As you come to the driveway of a business on the right, a driver pulls up to Boca Chica and edges his front end out onto the road. You have a choice. Try to avoid him by turning to the left and possibly sideswipe the car next to you. Slow down and even stop to let him know that you could hit him for driving too far into the road. Or simply stop and shake your head until he realizes what he doing and backs up to let you pass safely.

The Entry-Ramp Hog: You are trying to get onto the expressway and put on your turn signal to let drivers on the right lane on the expressway know your intentions. Even if there are no cars in the other lanes, the lone driver in the lane you're trying to enter refuses to move over and let you enter the expressway. Instead, you have to slow down and let him pass and move forward. Then, when you try to pass him, he speeds up as if he is insulted that someone is trying to pass him.

The Comadre Syndrome Driver: You're on a city street with only two lanes and parking space on both sides. There are cars parked on both sides of the street and you come upon two cars parked side by side (usually two big pickups) in the middle of the street. They are busy gabbing it up and ignore the fact that cars are waiting behind them to pass. In fact, they seem upset that they can't continue chismoleando and talking about old times because you actually want to use the street for the purpose for which it was designed and constructed. Resenting the interruption, they let you now how they feel about the intrusion by purposely driving slowly and making you wait as they wave goodbye to their pal.

The Napoleon In The Big Truck Syndrome: A driver in a big pickup truck purposely muscles his way across a parking lot or a street throwing the huge machine at smaller vehicles and making them stop and let him pass (Like a King Ranch Edition). Oblivious to the fact that others have to give up their right-of-way to let him pass, they glower at the drivers of the smaller vehicles and dare them to get in their way. When they get off the trucks (sometimes with foot rails on the sides), they turn out to be some little runt wearing a big Texan hat to make themselves look bigger.

We won't even get into the subject of drivers using their cell-phone or texting.

Sometimes it's infuriating to come across these folks on the road, but as the DPS cautions, two wrongs don't make a right and retaliation can only make matters worse. The goal is to do your necessary driving and get safely to your destination without running into one of these driver species.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

very interesting points, here is a few more to ponder. The vehicle coming towards you with their high beams on & they refuse to dim them, thus blinding you & when they do, one light is out. or following you with the high beams on, thus really blinding you. or even the drivers turning without even a signal light, or the famous turning right on red when it states "no turns on red" or the best bobbing & weaving in traffic in such a hurry to nowhere. just if the police would just enforce the basic traffic laws, the city would have some extra money!

Anonymous said...

So what?!!! We all know it, juan. Shit, tell me something I don't know!!!!!

AT said...

Don't forget about the people that block lanes because they want to get in/out of a parking lot

Anonymous said...

Also, the State Representative is shooting middle finger at ex husbands of his lovers. The bastard actually honks horn from pac money cadillac to shoot the fuck finger. It is ironic that frogs give warts

Anonymous said...

Thank You for bringing up those problems. Some of the people that comment in this blog, please come up with a possible solution that we, citizens of Brownsville, can take to the city commission and have the traffic department at least make a study and find solutions.
There are also a lot of elderly citizens still driving and in danger of causing an accident or being in an accident. People in their 80's and 90's should NOT be driving in Brownsville streets.
I hope somebody does something about these traffic problems BEFORE they become problems with NO possible solutions.

Anonymous said...

Everything wrong is Oliveira's fault. Send the frog back to it's hole so the snakes can feast. Leave our community alone and leave our women alone.

Diego Lee Rot said...

Driving isn't really necessary

Anonymous said...

Many of the Mexicans who fled from the cartels over to this side of the river, now have Texas plates on their cars to help them blend in.

Even so, Browntown driver have never be far away from Mexican driving habits. It is called Mexican free style driving.

Anonymous said...

AMBULANCE DRIVER'S IN TOWN DRIVE LIKE SHIT !

Anonymous said...

Say, maybe Rose Gowen has the right idea about using bikes instead of cars. Can you imagine la tribulka? If we could just get rid of "me, myself and I" syndrome with it's my way or the highway and you get out of my way, Buey! Don't forget that the 80 and 90 years olds are the ones who had proper etiquette for driving and were courteous drivers. Because others are always late and in a hurry, they pick on the older people who are the actual good drivers.

Anonymous said...

What is the law pertaining to bicycle lanes on Brownsville steets? Everyone uses them to make right hand turns (including Brownsville PD, buses, school buses). If you respect the bicycle lane you will be hit by those who choose not to.

Also people need to learn to use the middle turn lane. Everyone in Brownsville comes to a halt in the left lane, then slowly move into the middle turn lane. Why can't drivers just get in the middle lane then stop, scratch their ass or whatever without impeding traffic?

Anonymous said...

How about the drivers that just inherited the king size mattress from uncle Juan and proceed to drive it home atop of their taurus, all while holding it down with one hand?

Anonymous said...

That is because those receiving drivers' licenses now are not undergoing the scrutiny that Corporal Minerva Pena used to dictate when she was the Hitler at DPS, as she keeps reminding us at every board meeting. People would actually wait for her day off to go take the test. Some men went just to see el pantalon apretado con sombrero, como le decian todos los vatos.

Anonymous said...

Brownsville is supposed to be the second in the nation with safest drivers...as per Allstate insurance. I still can't figure that one out!!!

rita