Tailgating: The best way to pay for someone else’s car

Graphic by Kevin Chinn

The cafeteria line was moving so slowly. The girl digging through her wallet just to find out she can’t afford her meal, the guy on the phone who seemingly takes an eternity to get through the line and the packrat who jams the line even further are all characters I see regularly while trying to grab some food before rushing to class. Although I’m extremely irritated, never once does it cross my mind to cut ahead of the other suffering students. Then why is it OK to cut other people off while on the road?

Within the safety of our cars, we hold seemingly anonymous identities, acknowledging few consequences for our actions. We’ll never see that minivan we just cut off; we’ll never meet that pedestrian we just drove in front of. But at BC, this aggressive behavior must end!

As soon as I enter the BC campus from 140 Ave I’m immediately tailgated. I encounter this issue every single morning and afternoon. I also deal with pedestrians coming from every direction. They seem to love coming out of nowhere, regardless of whether a crosswalk is present or not. When it’s “BC rush hour,” an endless crowd of people dawdles across the crosswalk by the bus station, resulting in cars in all directions resting for several minutes and pushing their way through the crowd. Because of this, I’ve seen people often speed up in attempt to get through the crosswalk before people come.

When people are randomly bolting out into traffic, I may need to suddenly stop my vehicle. Tailgaters are just asking to rear end me. If you rear end someone, then you are required to pay for the damages. Getting on my tail is not going to make me drive any faster. In fact, I will sometimes drive slightly slower because I am being tailgated in the first place.

This leads into cutting people off. When cars are going through the main round-a-bout shortly after entering campus from 148 Ave, I see people being cut off all the time. Ever heard of right of way laws? Those concepts must be foreign to BC students. While I’m in the round-a-bout, I am constantly cut off by impatient drivers trying to get ahead. We always seem to end up at the light side-by-side at the same time, and if they had just waited a few more seconds for me to get through, they could have avoided a potentially hazardous situation.

While I do admit I speed, we should not be speeding in the parking garage! Pedestrians are everywhere, oblivious to almost being hit by the cars rapidly racing around corners, and traffic flows in both directions. To make this setting even more dangerous, cars are blindly backing out of their parking spaces, causing more mayhem. Be extremely cautious while in the parking garage. Watch out for those backing out into traffic, those on foot and those who may idiotically be driving on the wrong side.

Lastly, I’d like to introduce you all to something called a turn signal. A slight tap with your finger either up or down can turn it off or on. Fascinating, isn’t it? Guess what? They are actually useful and can piss people off when neglected. Please, guys, stop being lazy, and use your turn signals. They will assist both drivers and pedestrians to understand your path of travel.

These behaviors must not be used so frequently. We need to govern our actions and alter the way we drive in order to make BC safer, friendlier and less aggressive.