The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Here’s an idea: If the oncoming car has to brake for you, don’t pull out
By ROB HEDELT
I thought we were done with gripes for this season when I recently shared many from readers. Then I found myself in two situations recently that needed to be included. My two gripes came from topics that readers constantly mention: driving and movies.
My driving gripe came from not just one or two episodes of the same infuriating practice, but a full half-dozen over the past week or two. That infuriating practice: a driver pulling onto the road in front of me so that unless I slow down drastically, we’ll collide.
I’m not talking about situations where a car pulls onto the road well in front of me so that I have to brake a little bit. No, I’m talking about the folks who look, see me coming at 55 mph, and then pull onto the road in my lane when I’m only a few car lengths away.
What are they saying with this maneuver? I’m in a hurry and more important than you are, so you’ll just have to slow down.
The only solution: slamming on your brakes—when it’s happening on a two-lane road—or quickly zooming into the other lane if its on a four-lane roadway.
Only slightly less obnoxious and dangerous are the drivers who pull out onto the road across oncoming traffic to slowly accelerate in the left lane on a four-lane road. Here’s a thought: just wait another few seconds and all oncoming traffic will pass on by, leaving the roadway open to slowly and safely pull onto the highway.
After the first fellow in a slow pickup on State Route 3 west in Spotsylvania made the last-minute pull-out on me about 10 days ago, I started noticing. Since then, no fewer than six others have done the same. I’m no great driver, but if I see a car coming toward me at speed, it’s clear that the smart move is to let all vehicles pass before I pull onto the road. Even if I’m in a hurry.
My other gripe: having to see new movies in the dinky-sized halls some local theaters still have.
The problem: Now that we’ve been treated to the ultra-large screens and the large, stadium-seating halls most local theaters have, getting stuck seeing new films in little theaters is like getting stuck at the children’s table on Thanksgiving. It came to a head for me last weekend going to see a new film opening that day, the action police film “End of Watch.”
On that day, the two theaters where it was showing were both tiny, little theaters, neither much bigger than a school classroom. That got changed the following day, but only by sticking another new movie I was there to see in one of those small theaters. That film, “The Master,” had several scenes that cried out for a big screen.
Yes, I know theaters have to make decisions every week, trying to put films in theaters that best match estimated ticket sales. And yes, as this paper’s film reviewer, the problem gets magnified for me because I go often. But for some time now, I’ve heard many moviegoers complain about having no choice but to see new movies in the smaller theaters.
Many folks tell me they check to see if a new movie is showing at one of the tiny theaters.
If it is, they pick another theater or just wait until it’s on DVD or cable. They say it isn’t worth the money to see a film they care about on a little screen in a dinky theater.
Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415