Right on red

I like to think of myself as a calm driver; defensive but certainly not aggressive. Although maybe I’m a bit passive-aggressive at times. The whole “right on red” thing gets me riled up at times, causing those passive-aggressive tendencies to come out and play.

First, to answer the question you may be asking yourself, a “right on red” is a traffic law that allows a driver to make a right-hand turn on a red light after first coming to a full stop – if it is safe to do so and no signs are prohibiting it at that light.* (Think turning left on a red light in the UK.)

This is an option, not a mandatory manoeuvre. And an option I really like. However, I err on the side of caution and only proceed when there is a very clear path. I feel that it’s rude for me to take a quick right on red if it means that other cars proceeding through the intersection on a green light would have to break or slow down in any manner.

But from time to time I get someone behind me who will start honking their horn, flashing their lights, or gesturing frantically for me to take that right turn. This hurried attitude makes me decide that I will wait. And wait. And wait. Until the light turns green. Because that’s what passive-aggressive people do. And I do it with a smug smile on my face.

It is my right to forgo the option of turning right on red. And if you want to see just how stubborn I can be, test me on this. Or ride my tail when I’m already going 5 miles an hour over the speed limit and see just how close to the speed limit I can get without going under.

Rant over. For now.

*See the Washington State drivers’ guide for clarity. Not all states allow this manoeuvre.

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