Slow Down and Keep Quiet

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I’m tired. I’m tired of a-holes treating my town streets like their personal raceways. I’m tired of immature jerks racing along streets well over the speed limit, squealing tires, ignoring stop signs. I’m tired of drivers who think they’re above the law; that the laws don’t apply to them. That what matters is that they can do what they want and screw the rest of us.

Look, we get it. You’ve never matured beyond the show-and-tell stage. You’re releasing your inner six-year-old. You want to have a tantrum in the restaurant or the mall or some other public space like the other children, but your parents won’t go there with you any more, so you drive like a fool down side streets instead and endanger everyone else. Just to be noticed.

Just to be seen acting up in public. Show and tell all over again.

We get it. You need attention. You need to leave skid marks on the street because you think people will be awed by them.

We’re not. We just think you’re an immature a-hole.

You’re not an outlaw. You’re not a rebel. You’re not breaking free of the chains of society. You’re just a puerile a-hole with a car. You’re just being a six-year-old .

It’s time to grow up.

That’s right: grow up. When you get a driver’s licence, it’s time to act your age. It’s time to show responsibility. It’s time to be an adult. Time to put on your big-kid’s pants and act like you’re worth our attention. Without the tantrums, without the shouting. And you won’t get it by racing around the streets. What you will get is a call to the police complaining about your behaviour.

You are putting the lives of others at risk. And yes, that matters to the rest of us even if you’re not old enough to understand that. Children and pets, especially. Growing up means understanding that you don’t own the world: you have to share it with others. And you have to take their needs and wants into consideration, too. Adults understand that.

Adults understand that laws aren’t meant to be broken. That laws are not written as a test to see how much you can break them. That laws aren’t meant to cramp your precious selfish expressions or dampen your show-and-tell style. They’re meant to keep us all safe and secure.

And while we’re at it: stop the racket. Sure, you think having a car or motorcycle that sounds like it has a broken muffler is cool.

It isn’t. Your neighbours don’t think you’re cool. They think you’re an egotistical, attention-demanding, immature a-hole who makes a lot of noise.

Get it fixed and stop making noise. Start acting your age.

Loud pipes don’t save lives. They just make you obnoxious, arrogant and disliked by your neighbours.

Children make noise to be noticed. They scream, shout, bang things to get noticed and get their own way. We notice you, too. The big baby driving the loud pickup, the loud Harley, the annoying driver whose vehicle belches and farts like an old clunker. The pouty child pumping his/her music so loud it can be heard blocks away. Look at me. Look at me. Look at me.

We get it. You need attention. All six-year-olds do.

We’re impressed. We’re impressed that a child like you could get a driver’s licence. Didn’t you have to pass a test?

If you’re old enough to drive you should be old enough to understand that you’re not the only person who matters in this world. You’re not the centre of the universe. That others matter and you have a shared responsibility to them. That some day you have to act like an adult. And that means not always being loud and obnoxious.

If you haven’t figured that out, then you’re not old enough to drive, no matter what your licence says.

Grow up. Slow down and stop the noise. Start acting your age, not your shoe size. No one except you is impressed.

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