It's not the protesters, it's drivers who gawk

Posted9/2/2014 5:01 AM

I am not a big fan of persons or groups that choose to use the highways and overpasses to promote their cause or political agendas, but they should be no more distracting than the signs or electronic billboards we see every day. Let's put the blame for traffic congestion and backups in these cases where it belongs.

The other day I was driving south on I-355. Traffic was moderate and moving along at the usual 10 mph over the speed limit. Suddenly all three lanes came to a complete stop. Up ahead, I could see flashing red and blue lights. Probably an accident. A few moments later, we started moving again and I came upon the Illinois State Police car with the flashing lights. The car was completely on the inside shoulder and no other cars were there. So aside from drivers suddenly becoming law-abiding and slowing to the posted speed limit, why did everyone come to a stop?

The answer, and problem, is the Illinois Gawker. That driver who feels he or she must slow to 20 mph to get a good look at whatever is happening along the roadside. Accident, traffic stop, flat tire, protesters, even a big pink inflatable gorilla; these drivers have to be sure they can see everything there is, or isn't, to see. And the rest of us get caught in the traffic mess they create.

So the next time you are caught in traffic delays, remember it is your fellow driver (or you?) who is really causing the problem.

Pete Mayhew

Rolling Meadows

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