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Road bullies need to learn drivers etiquette

March 4, 2020
North Fort Myers Neighbor

To the editor:

I was involved in a driving altercation which is too typical of driving in Lee County this time of the year. I was making a turn from south-bound 41, right onto west-bound Pine Island road on this last Sunday. It is a tricky turn and also one of Lee County traffic engineers' favorite jokes. The turn involves having a dedicated lane to turn into, but you need to merge rather left quickly or be trapped in a right-turn-only lane into Merchants Crossing, which I had just exited. This is not as tense as driving on a major highway to find that your traffic lane will become a turn-only lane in a few hundred feet and no place to go in bumper-to- bumper waves of cars, but I digress. It is more akin to a merge lane ending, which for some reason many drivers from the northeast seem to think means stop and wait until all traffic ceases.

This Sunday, like many others, I made the right turn after surveying the westbound traffic on the move, I signaled immediately to merge left out of the turn lane to the traffic lane. However the space that I hoped to merge into was shrinking quickly due to the driver behind purposely punching his gas to make me have to either create a traffic problem by stopping and waiting for another space to merge into or force me to be stuck in the right turn lane and be inconvenienced as I start the process over again.

I quickly merged left anyway despite his best effort to not allow me, to the sound of his blaring horn. The driver then passed me on the right in the turn-only lane that I had just maneuvered out of, gestured with his middle finger and turned into Merchants Crossing.

The stupidity of the situation, as well as that other driver is toxic. The guy wanted the lane I needed to get out of anyway. He could have easily allowed me to move left and he could have moved right into the lane that he wanted with no problems or close calls. Instead he needed to be a Road Bully to show his dominance with his loud horn, his pretty, shiny car and his tattooed, middle finger, on the hand which should have been on the wheel at the 10 o'clock position.

I will continue to drive prudently according to road etiquette and rules that I learned in drivers education. Prudence, etiquette and rules are three words that need to be reviewed by many using the highways in Lee County. I will continue to not back down to Road Bullies who need to get to red lights at the intersection quicker than everybody else.

There are too many fools behind the wheel with no place to get to quickly. They are a danger to safe, conscientious drivers and themselves.

Charles Jelenchick

Cape Coral



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