Caution: Aggressive Drivers Ahead
You’re right, traffic is getting worse, and so are the attitudes of some of the people behind the wheel. A recent poll looked at public attitudes on driving and
came up with these findings:
• Aggressive driving. About one-third of drivers can be categorized as aggressive. Six in 10 admit to sometimes speeding, while nearly one-fourth of drivers surveyed say that they speed very often or somewhat often. More than four in 10 say they get angry behind the wheel; and two in 10 admit that they sometimes experrience road rage, making impolite gestures or running lights or stop signs. These aggressive drivers are most likely to be young people, city drivers or drivers stuck in traffic jams.
• Coping strategies. Two-thirds of Americans say they sometimes take less direct routes to avoid traffic, and one-fourth say they’ve changed their work schedules to avoid rush hour. Twenty percent say they have moved to new homes to improve commutes; 14 percent say they’ve changed or quit jobs because of their commute.
• Finding solutions. Sixty-six percent say immediately removing disabled vehicles is very effective in improving traffic. The next best solution, according to respondents, is electronic alerts that warn drivers about traffic jams and suggest alternate routes. Only 27 percent think high-occupancy vehicle lanes are effective, and a mere 7 percent say adjustable tolls (charging higher tolls when volume is heavier) is effective. About 51 percent think building new roads is “very effective,” while the same percentage believes carpooling is a good idea. On average, 220 million Americans drive an hour and a half a day in their cars, 75 percent of them say driving gives them a sense of independence, and half say it’s relaxing.
Safety Issues Halt Mexican Trucks
Negotiations on allowing Mexican trucks on U.S. highways have come to a grinding halt. The 1994 North American Free Trade Agree-ment promised to allow Mexican trucks on American roads, but the latest snag involves Mexico’s reluctance to allow U.S. safety in-spectors into the country.
A recently released audit by the federal government says that Mexican trucks should not be granted long-haul operating authority in the United States until both countries agree to allow on-site safety reviews in Mexico. Under the U.S. proposal, U.S. in-spectors would conduct “safety audits” on Mexican trucks, mechanics and buildings. One Mexican trucking association maintains that such audits would be “excessive and discriminatory” since they don’t apply to U.S. or Canadian companies.
In addition to safety concerns, the audit also lists concerns about inspectors obtaining data on Mexican drivers, verifying licenses and insurance, and testing for drugs and alcohol. The report also notes that Mexican hazmat drivers should be subjected to the same background checks that American hazmat haulers must undergo.
Source: Roemer Report