Monday, June 29, 2009

Stop and Reflect (or the other way around)

A friend of mine got a ticket for not coming to a full stop at a stop sign a couple of weeks ago. It was a stop sign at a four-way stop near my house. Around the same time, I was riding with someone who I noticed making full and complete stops at every stop sign. In recent years, I've pretty much become the queen of the rolling stop. I sort of resent the whole business -- if there are other cars around, fine, but if there's no other visible traffic, isn't it a waste of time to step on the brake until you feel that little jerk that means you are now well and truly stopped, then have to get going again?
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OR is the fact that I think that just evidence that I'm buying into a fast-food, hurry hurry rush rush culture, too busy for courtesy, contemplation or correct behaviour? 

So I've been stopping for real at stop signs. Partly because I don't want to get a ticket, partly because it makes me feel a little smug (especially when I see the people behind me almost drive into me and then get mad, the same way I do when I think people stop for too long at stop signs), partly just to try something new. It's an interesting feeling. A little pause every so often, for no good reason (because I still think it's kind of dumb).

But yesterday I was driving back to my Mom's house from our house. My husband was away for a week and a half, then my brother in law was here for two nights, then my cousin who I've seen three times in twenty-five years was here on the last day of school and needed to be shown around Ottawa, then my sister and her two kids came on the last day of school and stayed for the week-end. My house is only a few minutes away from my Mom and Dad's, and we spent the week-end shuffling between the two houses and the beach and the waterpark with various combinations of kids and adults. And I realized why I rarely came to a full stop at a stop sign before. 

It's because sometimes, when you come to a full stop, it's really, really hard to make yourself go again.

2 comments:

NoisyBluebird said...

Exactly. Thank you.

Amber said...

It is sort of silly to come to a complete stop when there's no other visible traffic for miles. And probably harmful to the earth, too, all that accelerating that you end up doing. As someone who wants to Obey The Rules I would do it anyway. But as a mother with two screaming kids in the back seat I will admit to the occasional rolling stop.

And that inertia, it will get you every time.