Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bad Drivers, Bad Drivers, Whatcha Gonna Do... (by Josh)

Watch out choferes of all types, there's a new Law in town.  He wears a neon-green reflective vest and a wide-brimmed hat that would please any state trooper.  Today this  cool cat, who don't take no infrac-tions, renewed my hope for San Francisco's wonderfully pothole-free streets.
Now, it is a horribly overused cliché to kavetch about bad drivers in the Dominican Republic.  Despite the action-packed, video-game style fun that is an Hispaniolan commute, it seems to be the cornerstone of almost every conversation with an ex-pat, complaining our little hearts out about silly things like near-death experiences, but it gets a little old after a while.
A couple of Dominican "Yorkers" even pointed out to me that Dominicans who have lived in the U.S. would never drive the way they do here back in New York (read "continental United States", they're synonyms).  The missing element, it would seem, is enforcement.
Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people getting pulled over by AMET officers every day, it's just that it's rarely for an actual traffic offense.  When there is no apparent connection between traffic infractions and getting pulled over, there is little motivation or awareness for better driving.
No longer will this be the case! Not with Green-Vested-Hero-Guy around.
A typical AMET dragnet (Photo Credit)
Today I was on my way to pick up Max, waiting at the intersection of the major avenue right next to his school.  There is often a traffic officer near there, randomly pulling motorcyclists over (though those who have small, helmetless children aboard never seem to be challenged).
On this day, I stood next to said AMET officer, waiting to cross with some teenagers.  The light turned red for cross traffic, the cars actually stopped, and so we began making our way across.  Just as I got to the third lane, however, a bright green, Fast&Furious style Honda made a California-stop and rolled right past me, through the red light, skirting the cars that were just starting into their green light. I threw up my hands in mock surprise, then took a long glance back at the traffic officer, thinking surely he would whistle for this moron to stop.
He was looking in our direction, but didn't seem to have even noticed. I shook my head and went on my way.
On the walk back, however, once we'd crossed the same avenue again, I looked to my left and saw what made me do a double-take: a neon-green convention on the next street corner, with Mr. Hero writing a ticket to jerk-guy. 'Twas indeed a sweet sight to behold, justice, and the hope that next time jerko, and maybe even other drivers around him, would think twice before flaunting traffic laws in a school zone.  One ticket at a time, Hero Man, one ticket at a time.

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