Are you too nice?
When is nice too nice? I can see traffic and pedestrians from my office window in our local downtown core. I just watched a driver begin a left turn to enter a parking lot, but stop to let a pedestrian cross. The pedestrian then stopped to let the driver continue. The waving back and forth took more than 30 seconds, instead of the normal 2 seconds. Isn’t there such a thing as too nice when it comes to right of way?
Right of way is a courtesy law. It’s something that is given, not taken. In other words, I don’t have the right of way until someone gives it to me. For example, if I don’t have a stop sign but the driver to my right does, I should be allowed to go first. However, if that driver decides to run the stop sign, nothing will stop them from doing so, except the side of my vehicle.
I’ve been out with students that I’m teaching at Young Drivers of Canada when we’ve come to an all way stop. There is often a driver stopped at the intersection to the right or left of us. So after we stop, we’re expecting the driver to take their right of way and continue through the intersection. For some unknown reason, they wave us through the intersection. Every now and then my students would want to wave that driver through only because they had stopped first. I understand why they would want the driver to go first, but I end up coaching my student to continue through the intersection. If the first driver wanted to give up their right of way, so be it. Thank you very much; I’ll take it.
Niceness only goes so far. Sometimes, being too polite can be confusing for some drivers.