The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 3, 2012

BICKER: Use your head when behind the wheel or walking

By Angie Bicker
Lifestyle Editor

CLINTON — Driving and walking down the street are privileges and freedoms I would like to take away from some people.

I don’t claim to be the world’s best driver by any means, but I don’t turn where I’m not suppose to, fly through red lights or speed recklessly down the road.

I might speed occasionally, but that’s on my go-kart so I think I’m safe.

Driving is a right and privilege we earn as teenagers.

We are taught the rules of the road and to obey them so we don’t cause harm to others. As some drivers get older, this theory flies right out their tailpipes with the exhaust.

Since I go home everyday at lunchtime to gather eggs, I have noticed one major driving no no repeated time and again. And frankly, it’s driving me up a tree.

I have seen many drivers, 99.9 percent of them local, attempting to make a left turn at the stop light at the foot of the south bridge.

This drives me nuts. I can understand if you are a young driver, just recently moved here or out-of-town visitor making this mistake. But, for people who have lived in this area all of their lives there is no excuse in my book.

If you’re trying to fumble and mumble an excuse, spare me. There is a sign, albeit a small one, that says — no left turn.

Look up, it’s there. I would bet my life on it.

The first time I saw this happen I didn’t get too fired up, but after the second, third, fourth and fifth time, my internal volcano started to erupt.

I’m very surprised that someone hasn’t been creamed yet — like a jelly doughnut.

If drivers can’t remember to not turn left there, maybe a sign should be placed farther back along the median that warns drivers not to make that mistake.

If this doesn’t work, then they deserve to get a ticket.

But if a mistake was made, unintentionally, of getting in the wrong lane, wouldn’t it make more sense to go up the bridge a few miles, turn around and come back instead of potentially causing an accident?

Another pet peeve of mine involves jaywalkers.

When the signal says “Don’t walk,” don’t walk.

Why chance your life by running out in the middle of a busy intersection to save yourself a minute or two? However, a lot of people I have seen lately are not even running. They are meandering aimlessly listening to their headphones and not even paying attention to what they’re doing.

I just want to roll my window down and yell, “Hey, you’re supposed to wait. And by the way, take those stupid earbuds out of your ears and watch what you’re doing.”

As much luck as I have, the guy would probably turn around, run at my truck and pop me a good one. So, I may just keep my screaming and complaining limited to the confines of my truck.

Do they feel they are entitled to own the street when they don’t have the right-of-way or is it just plain stupidity? I’ve pondered this question over and over.

Whatever happened to being logical or just having plain, good old common sense?

It seems to really be lacking in today’s society.

We are so caught up with what’s good for ourselves that we forget we may be hurting someone else in the process.

No matter how you slice it or dice it, poor driving habits or poor choices in general can lead to serious and life-changing results.

Angie Bicker has been employed with the Clinton Herald since 2001. She can be reached at