Although it’s not an Olympic sport, maybe it should be one, especially as we close in on the next four-year classic in 2012. What is it? It’s Red Light Running.
Picture it now: a real intersection at rush hour, surrounded by roaring fans and many other types, including the dummies — let’s call them beanbags — that are about to participate.
The rules are simple: there are two SUVs per match, one of which must beat the red light and other vehicle across the intersection. Also, there are lots of non-traditional touches, such as the judges let the festivities begin with a tango, rather than a more traditional horn or bell.
It all begins with a kind of countdown where we and our combatants we watch as the light goes from green to yellow and the beanbag boys speed up because they just have “to make the light!”
Suddenly the light goes Red and beanbag entry 1, who has also now picked up his cell and is yakking away with his wife about dinner (degree of difficult .8), swerving around anyone who gets in his way, is into the intersection.
He snaps a left turn with no signal (degree of difficulty 1.7) inches from beanbag 2 and he gets through to the other side where a mother and baby in a stroller are walking in a clearly marked crosswalk. He snags them with his bumper (degree of difficulty 1.5) spinning them around — and the EMTs rush in.
Done with his run, he gets out grinning because he has the highest score.
This is a two-SUV event so beanbag 2, who was a little mesmerized by the expert idiocy of beanbag 1, now has to shake it off and finish up.
He was been in the intersection while beanbag 1 did his mechanical pirouette (degree of difficulty .2, just for showing up).
Beanbag 2 was really put into a hole when he tried to chug his Super Grande Latte Expresso (degree of difficulty 1.2) just when beanbag 1 executed his perfect left-swing.
Unfortunately, beanbag 2 spilled the stuff in his lap as he gaped at beanbag 1’s near-perfect cross-left. He barely missed beanbag 2, who has also scalded himself with his hot Super Grande Latte Espresso (a loss because he didn’t control his cup better).
Finally regaining his presence of mind, he puts his java down in time to see beanbag 1 large as life — and twice as nasty — just calmly pulling past him as he hits his brakes and slide right, cutting off a Ford Focus that is forced into a ditch (degree of difficulty .7)
He actually also did a little praying during this little interlude of sportsmanship so that he would stay in one piece. In this case, prayer won’t do much good because this isn’t the type of game sanctioned by the Lord who has decreed at various times that you have to love and honor your neighbor and if simply slowing down and watching lights doesn’t qualify, nothing does.
So here comes the obvious — BANG as beanbag 2, now in four-wheel brake lock, can’t do anything about the phone pole that’s looming ahead — and the judges hold up there cars 2.4, 4.5, 8.9 (judge from former Russian state), 1.3.
Not very good guys, you could have done better. Maybe you could have taken out a line of little kids who are waiting for the bus, or how about taking out that brand-new Prius and the Honda Insight that just rolled out of the showroom last night.
Those would be prime accidents and good for bonus points because the degree of difficulty is 2.15, at least.
Let’s get real here, though, Red Light Running, isn’t an Olympic sport, it’s just an example of a very real traffic problem. People seem to think they are so important that traffic rules don’t apply to them, it’s only to the other guys.
And, Lord have mercy, if either of these two mentally challenged Titans of the Road were to be ticketed, they would be all over the “offending” officer like garbage flies on a dung heap in the middle of July.
In fact, that’s where I think I saw both of those idiots the other day.
Listen, booby, the answer to this problem is simple: OBEY THE LAW!
This means if you see a light turning yellow you slow down and if it goes red, you stop with enough time to keep from someone making your car a hood ornament.
That’s all it takes to halt this problem and think of all the manpower that’s wasted because you have to fill out papers, talk to the policyholders and your insurance agent.
These are all just wasted steps, but maybe if you learn from them because you’ve lost business then it’s worth something.
Something similar has touched to at least 26 people at one spot as the State Police, Registry of Motor Vehicles (MA) and local police departments have been targeting scofflaws who routinely think that blinking red school bus lights aren’t for them.
Well one complaining driver told WBZ-TV Boston News that it was a little unfair to have all the police around and news crews; because of them, he complained, he blew by a school bus whose lights were blinking red.
That’s an automatic signal to stop in MA and if you are caught going around the bus it’s an automatic $250 out of your pocket; offense number 2 costs the same and your license.
Our boy driver, who told the TV reporter he knew he should not have run the red lights of the school bus, believed the fine was excessive and it was unfair that all of those newspeople and police were in the area. And, while not saying so directly, he indicated that it was the fault of the police and newspeople because he was distracted by the sting.
This provides an interesting snapshot of today’s driving public. And it’s not a pretty sight. We have people who are “too important” for just any old law to be applied to them and we have the many others feeling as if they are being picked on.
If any of these self-important people would bother taking their heads out of their nether regions long enough to look around they’d see there is a reason for a red traffic lights and red blinking bus lights.
Both mean stop and if you don’t do it and you happen to be in the presence of a police officer or RMV Inspector, the result will be the same, a rather large hole in your wallet.
By the way, bus drivers also can copy your license number down and forward it to the police department in the town of the incident or the RMV and a ticket can be issued, so don’t think you are getting away with anything, because you are not.
Bottom line: If you see a red light and it isn’t “right on red,” then just stop. It will save you time, money, aggravation and, oh yes, driving points.