The Old Coot takes a wrong turn

I don’t know if you’ve turned into the Owego Treadway or the Tops Plaza off Route 17C lately, but there are new rules in place. The old turning lanes have been cross hatched with white painted stripes and new signs installed as you approach the turn-off: “STATE LAW – DO NOT DRIVE ON SHOULDER.” Someone, and we never get to find out whom, makes these decisions, which are always, “For our own good.” He/she/it decides to mess up a system that worked great for years. They do this all the time. Never with input from the public, and worse, never with input from an old coot.

I pulled up to the turn off the other day to go to a Rotary meeting at the Treadway. I defied the “STATE LAW” and pulled onto the old turning lane despite the white stripes and the scary sign. Three cars behind me did the same thing; it made me proud! To know that civil disobedience (in its mildest form) is alive and well here in the land of the free. Which, has been on a long downhill slide into the “Land of too many Rules.” Oh sure, there probably was a fender bender a time or two, when someone turned into a car in the turning lane. That’s usually why this stuff gets imposed on us. Someone makes a stupid mistake, and some remote bureaucrat decides to fix it. The rest of us end up in a world shaped by stupidity. 

Thirty some years ago, a school bus stalled on the tracks at a railroad crossing. Now, every school bus is required to stop before going over the rails, open the door to peer to the right, look out the window to the left and then cross. When are most vehicles likely to stall? When they start out from a dead stop, putting school busses at greater risk than they were before the rule was created. One stupid mistake – a rule forever in place! Politicians and bureaucrats view the world from a nanny state perspective. They have an obsession to “fix” every stupid mistake we make. There is a bill right now working its way through congress, to prohibit old coots from expressing their opinions in print. All because one stupid old coot overdid it. ME!

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