Open Letter to the Stop Light Idler

Traffic comments edit

Dear Stop Light Idler:

I do not understand why you think it’s good to stop six car lengths back from the stop light and idle slowly forward, occasionally tapping the brakes, until you get to the actual stop line. I’m writing you today to ask your help so I can understand.

Do you feel you’re somehow being safer? That actually stopping at the line is not quite as safe as stopping 25m before the line?

Or is it that you don’t trust your brakes? I might - might - actually understand this one, since you do tap them several times during your idle-up-to-the-line, almost like you have to verify they’re still working; that, yes, the brakes will, in fact, continue to stop the car.

Maybe it’s that you’re trying to get some sort of “running start” at the light when it signals you to go. You know, so you can “beat” the car in the other lane off the line? Is that it? The drag racer in you?

Honestly, I’m at a loss. From back here, behind you, watching you inch-forward-and-stop, inch-forward-and-stop, inch-forward-and-stop… from back here, it just looks like you’re not paying attention. It also looks like you have no consideration for the line of cars behind you who would like to just sit at the signal and wait for it to change rather than constantly trying to keep up with your inching. Because you know that if the rest of the line doesn’t inch up with you, that the one driver who doesn’t move forward looks like a big douche for being the guy who’s got six car lengths in front of him and isn’t moving up.

You probably also don’t realize that some traffic signals are timed, but some are magnetically-sensitive. If you don’t actually get your car into that little box up there by the stop line, the signal won’t change. Or maybe you do, and that’s part of your daily plan to piss off the other drivers behind you.

Can you explain why you’re doing this? Is there even a reason? (If there is, are you sure it’s a good one?) Because, honestly, when I’m behind you, you ride my road rage nerve. If someone - and I’m not saying me, but someone - pulled you out of the car and punched you in the throat, I might not mind so much. Just sayin’.

Please, I implore you, stop being a traffic asshole. Just pull up to the damn light (or a reasonable distance behind the next car in front of you) and stop. No need to inch. No need to tap the brakes. Just hang out. Be zen about it.