The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
HEDELT: Drivers driving you mad?
BY ROB HEDELT
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
IT’S TAKEN me a while to share this year’s batch of readers’ gripes and grins, which begin today.
So I’m making my delay the first on today’s list of gripes, which generally focus on car-related issues.
Bobbie Kerns of Spotsylvania County shares one I agree with: “fools who drive in the rain without their headlights on.”
Kerns said these folks don’t seem to realize that it’s required by law, or that having their lights on also “helps us see them whenever the weather is bad.”
“Guess what color cars these people usually have,” Kerns added. “Some shade of gray that blends especially well into the background on a gray, rainy day.”
David Jennings of Fredericksburg had two complaints that were echoed by a handful of other readers.
He hates it when folks “leave their shopping carts on the lot where their cars were parked. How selfish is that?”
Jennings’ other gripe, shared by many others: “People who just flick their finished cigarettes on the ground. Filters don’t biodegrade. Doing that’s as ignorant as smoking in the first place.”
Becky Hubbard of Stafford County has had it with fog lights and “the idiots” who use them.
“They’ll turn them on and, combined with the regular headlights, it’s like getting blasted with four lights that can’t be dimmed. It’s blinding!” she said.
She added, “The worst part is that they turn them on when there’s no fog. They should never have been invented.”
Susan Evans of North Stafford says she can’t stand it when people pass a stopped school bus with its lights flashing and its big, red “Stop” sign extended.
“What are these people thinking?” she asked “I take my grandchildren to the bus stop every day, and invariably, at least a car or two pass each of three buses when they are stopped, loading or unloading. Every day!”
Joe Fillare of Spotsylvania said he has lived in 10 states and two foreign countries, and only in his new home county do school road caution lights flash when school is not in session.
“They flash on teacher workdays, holidays and snow days when students aren’t present,” he said.
“On those days, there’s no reason to reduce the speed limit. I am aware of someone who got a speeding ticket for exceeding that speed limit on one of those [non-school] days.”
Greg Holmes of King George County has had it with all the “cash for junk” signs slapped up all over the area. He said it would make his day if government officials would “give the numbers on the posters a call and issue a littering citation for each and every one of these eyesores.”
He wondered what our roadways would look like if officials let other sorts of placards go up as well.
“I don’t mind a family’s garage sale now and then, but these ‘cash for junk cars’ dogs are a public nuisance,” he said. “Get ’em out of here.”
Several writers had the same gripe I hear every year: folks who park in handicapped spaces, even though those drivers are able-bodied.
Susan Wyndham of Spotsylvania, whose husband is in a wheelchair, noted that “Most of the time, they’re also in the way of the ramp into the store. And ‘I’m only going to be a minute’ doesn’t mean anything. It takes that long just to get into the store and get a cart.”
That’s all for today.
I’ll be back with more gripes, and also some reader grins, in columns next week.
Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415