Mr. CiclaValley Renews His Killing Machine…er Driver’s License

It always sneaks up on you, that driver’s license renewal. No one wants to go into that office, especially with the caveat that your card expires on your birthday.DMV01

While you’re still on your high horse about it, yes Mr. CiclaValley owns a car. A 2003 Saturn Vue to be exact. Style, luxury, and efficiency all rolled into one tiny package.

I’ll safely say that I bike four times as many miles as I drive and that doesn’t even factor in how much I walk or use Metro, so my car plays second fiddle in my household.

Still, there are a number of tasks that I need to do with this anachronistic vehicle, so when the law says you need to renew, I say, “How High?”

Like a true American, I didn’t check my form until the morning of stating that I’d be taking an eye test and a new photo. Great. I’ve been needing a haircut for the last two weeks.

Tomorrow's drivers learn how to sit in traffic
Tomorrow’s drivers learn how to sit in traffic

I remember the anxiety of taking my first driver’s test, but that feeling is so far removed. Now, extending the privilege to drive is a mere formality unless your eyeballs fall outside of their socket.

Mind you, since the last time I renewed, we’ve added cell phone, texting, three foot passing and numerous other laws that we’re assuming everyone picked up on. In practice, a small percentage of drivers seem to care about them.

It’s a rare opportunity to get a driver’s attention, so if there’s any opportunity to educate those who operate our nation’s number one cause for man-made deaths, I say take it.

Yes, getting people to learn better traffic safety would take more time and money. California won’t even spring for temporary license plates even though Oregon does. And Illinois. And New York, Texas, Alabama and any other state you can name.

Outside suggests "park", not "parking"!
Outside suggests “park”, not “parking”!

We have a bit of malaise because traffic mortality rates have gone down, but the bigger picture shows it’s still a lethal problem. Every year almost 3,000 Californians loose their lives to automobiles. That’s like a high school and middle school being wiped off the map every year.

I keep speaking up because I don’t want to deal with the tragedy of a loved one, especially while I can do something about it.

Traffic calming has proven to save lives while having a trace effect on commuting times, but still people harbor a false fear that driving will come to a stand still.

Hating on drivers is not going to solve anything. Let them know you’re a teacher, a father or whatever it takes to remind them you’re a person. And you can show them your driver’s license as well.