Every city has one – they have to: a freeway that at one moment is free-flowing, then at the next, a parking lot. These highways also contain people who shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a vehicle. It’s as if a switch is flicked and the moment the tires of their vehicle touch the freeway, they suddenly turn into a raging maniac behind the wheel – ignoring all traffic signs, signals and their fellow drivers. It’s a ‘get-out-of-my-way’ entitled attitude. It’s this kind of careless havoc that kills people. Fine. If you want to kill yourself behind the wheel, go ahead and do it – just do it on a deserted road somewhere and not on a freeway that carries thousands of vehicles a day.
Calgary has such a freeway. It’s called Deerfoot Trail – or as I have come to know it: Maniac Trail or Googly Eyes Trail. A lot of people complain about the design of the highway. Guess what? – that has nothing to do with it! It’s true that Deerfoot Trail was built to serve a certain capacity of vehicles. With all its twists and turns in the SE and incomprehensible 3 lanes turning into 2 lanes at some points, it was never meant to handle the capacity it has now with bumper to bumper traffic all going in excess of 100 km/h.
Which brings me to all the maniacs that travel on it. I avoid Deerfoot Trail at all costs. I will go out of my way to avoid driving on it so that I consequently avoid all the crazies that inhabit it. For me, Deerfoot Trail is a white-knuckle drive, and I don’t even drive it during peak rush hour. Like I said before, something happens to normally sane, conscientious drivers when they get on Deerfoot. I know there is a psychologist out there who has done a study on why normally sane drivers turn into complete maniacs behind the wheel. I would love to read their study.
There are two elements that make drivers maniacs: they drive wayyyyyy over the speed limit, but they don’t stay in just one lane to prove how fast their vehicle can go. No, they insist on weaving from lane to lane to lane at top speed, attempting to get ahead of the pack for some reason. They seem to think that it is their right to put other people in danger. Just this past week, I was almost side-swiped off the road by morons tailgating other cars, then swerving into my lane ahead of me just because I wasn’t tailgating the person in front of me, so that gave them license to ram their car into the tiny opening in front of me. It’s not just one type of driver – it seems to cut a swath across generations and type of vehicle, though the worst seem to be the ones with a ‘support our troops’ ribbon sticker on their vehicle. Why is that? I don’t get it. It’s that old entitlist attitude I guess – ‘you’re not going to tell me what to do, I should be able to drive like a frickin’ maniac if I want to and the government can’t stop me blah blah blah’. That one.
There’s not much I can do about it – except this: complain. Oh, and not drive on Deerfoot to begin with and avoid the whole aggravation. It’s just that these maniacs take their maniacal driving from the freeway to the city streets. I see it all the time. If the police wanted to pay for their own salaries instead of having the city fund them, they could easily do so by catching all these maniacs and their googly eyes driving and fine the hell out of them. I know their resources are stretched as it is, but if they are ever in a cash crunch…
I am quite confident that if everyone in Calgary was forced to take a driving test – they’d fail miserably and be forced to hand in their license that they got from the bottom of a Cracker Jack box. People still blatantly text and talk on their cell phones; tailgate; change lanes recklessly; don’t use their turn indicators; speed. Something is very wrong with this picture. Driving is a privilege not a right, yet people abuse it as if they are entitled to act like maniacs. Fine, drive like a maniac, just stay away from me.
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