(de)parting on the left

"What's that terrifying green pointy thing in the sky?!"

“What’s that terrifying green pointy thing in the sky?!”

Idiots walk the street everywhere, so it’s only logical that they’d be behind the wheel, too.

There are too many annoyances to list when it comes to other drivers – the guy who never signals, the lady who stops at the end of a ramp to merge, to name a couple – but one major pet peeve will be fleshed out here in this space.


The simple left-turn arrow never fails to illustrate the stupidity and general lack of critical thinking amongst today’s commuters and vehiclegoing human drones.

Think about it. You’re in a left turn lane, and a green light appears just for you. It’s even in the shape of an arrow, pointing in the direction you want to go.

It's not hard, people.

It’s not hard, people. (Image via)

Simple, right?


It’s astounding how many people distrust this arrow, and – as a result – how few people (on average) get through the intersection on one of these signals.

Usually, the lead driver  – whether due to glassy-eyed boredom or texting – only manages to notice the signal after its been on for nearly its full lifespan, then darts out and clears the intersection with room for maybe one more vehicle behind them.

The experiment then repeats itself for the next signal.

Distracted, comatose drivers are legion on the avenues and byways of the nation’s capital, but it’s the alert-but-confused ones that really grind my gears.

These drivers notice the left turn arrow the second it comes on, but don’t know what to do about it.

Surely they passed driver’s training – I mean, they are licensed – so the true meaning of the signal shouldn’t be a Columbo level mystery. But it is.

"Soooo.... if I'm in this lane, then that signal must mean.... no, wait - "

“Soooo…. if I’m in this lane, then that signal must mean…. no, wait – “

Then, with hands gripping the steering wheel like an Everest climber holds a lifeline, they slowly, cautiously creep forward into the intersection that has been cleared solely for them, eventually realizing that the green arrow means a red carpet for their car.

By the time the realization dawns, the signal is almost over. Usually, one or (max) two more drivers make it through the intersection after Cautious McCautiousy.

It’s a ridiculous situation and only serves to make our overcrowded roads even slower.

The green left-turn arrow is not a fiendish plot to lure you out into the intersection for some nefarious and diabolical purpose.

An anvil will not land on your car. The political party you’d never vote for is not manning the switches down at the traffic light nerve centre.

Just remove your foot from the brake, and place it on the accelerator. Then, proceed to live your life with the joy that comes from being free of fear.


Embrace the joy of driving safely and decisively, people.

Embrace the joy of driving safely and decisively, people.