Friday January 2nd was a cold and blustery day and the warnings of “Heavy Snowfall” were coming to fruition as I headed home from work at Seed Hawk, which is located on #9 Highway a few kilometers north of Langbank. It was around two o’clock in the afternoon and the driving conditions were deteriorating quickly as snow had really started coming down and the wind began to pick up, too. The snowfall made the visibility bad enough but vehicles passing from the opposite direction or following behind another vehicle created near whiteout conditions.
The Highway Hotline lingo “drive with caution” was never more applicable. Mind you, to me, every time you turn your vehicle on and drive it you should be “driving with caution”, but I digress.
Cautiously, I turned on to Highway 48 and headed west toward Kennedy and Kipling. I came up behind another half ton truck and settled in behind it as it was moving cautiously as well. Because of the swirling snow I couldn’t see if any other traffic was coming towards us so I settled in for a slower drive home but I was only going to Kipling so an extra four or five minutes wasn’t going to kill me but impatiently pulling out to pass the slower vehicle and running in to oncoming traffic probably would.
As we approached a curve I could see good enough to know that there were a few vehicles ahead of the truck in front of me, too, but there was nothing in my rear view mirror at that time. Again, there didn’t seem to be any reason to take a risk on passing so I just bided my time and hung in behind the half ton in front of me.
We travelled like that for most of the drive between Kennedy and Kipling and then as we passed Bender I could see lights in my rear view mirror. I assumed, which is always dangerous thinking, that the driver approaching my rear would fall into line like everyone else and we’d “convoy” it into Kipling.
I noticed the vehicle behind me was closing in fast and it got so close that I could plainly see its distinctive Mercedes Benz hood ornament and it was also close enough that I couldn’t even see the grill on the front of the cube van. I kept my foot on the accelerator but lightly tapped the brake enough for the brake lights to flash on hoping my signal would tell the driver to back off. Either the driver didn’t know what my signal meant or they didn’t care because they sure didn’t back off at all.
Keep in mind that all of this was happening while the visibility was horrible. I couldn’t even see the taillights of the vehicle directly in front of me and we were only a couple of kliks away from Kipling by this time. The goof behind me kept on my rear end right into town. Even then, as we came in to Kipling and slowed to the 50km/hr speed limit, you couldn’t see clear enough to know if there was any traffic approaching from the other direction or how far ahead the vehicle in front of you was.
Unbelievably, the moron passed me right in front of Bumper to Bumper! I saw lights coming towards us from the east-bound lane and slammed on my brakes so the idiot could pull in before a head on collision occurred. Sheesh! Then the fool pulled out as soon as the oncoming car went by and passed the next vehicle in front of him a block later! IN TOWN! With ZERO visibility! What the deuce? Or words to that effect crossed my mind.
I don't know if the guy had a death wish or not and I didn't care because I don’t and I’m not done living quite yet, thank you very much, and I didn't appreciate the fact that he was risking everyone else's life around him in the process of his dangerous, selfish driving. If you're going to drive like that take it to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah or the middle of Bender Lake or something where you're only endangering your own life, for crying out loud!
Oh, by the way, I timed out how long it takes to drive all the way through Kipling at 50kms per hour from the speed limit sign on the east end of town to the western outskirts and it's two minutes and four seconds. 2:04:00! That's all! Worth risking lives over? I think not.
The guy was driving a corporate vehicle, with a passenger no less, so, needless to say, the corporation is going to get a copy of this diatribe complete with a few more details.
My apologies, Dear Reader, for starting off the New Year with a cranky, full-moon, claws out rant but the mindless fool's stupidity really rankled me. If you hadn't noticed. Thanks for listening, though.
“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”-Albert Einstein (1879-1955).