Robert Kirby, a now retired columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune, was once a police officer in Utah. He tells the story of pulling a guy over for speeding. The driver handed him his registration and license as well as his Temple recommend, across which officer Kirby wrote “Void” and handed it back to the man with his ticket.
We have all heard stories of somebody driving to church, getting upset with a fellow driver, and both trading words and/or middle fingers, only to pull up to the church and seeing the other driver pulling into the same church parking lot. I guess this is more likely to happen in a heavily Mormon populated area, since out in the “mission field”, all Mormons know every other Mormon for miles around.
I’ve mellowed a lot in my driving and interaction with other less skillful drivers than myself (which seems to be just about everybody else!) I think my old age is a major factor, but also the consequences of getting into a road rage incident seems to be much more likely to escalate into violence nowadays, especial where I live in Sothern California.
I’ve driven in lots of places around the world, and experienced lots of different driving styles. I’ve driven in Rome and Naples Italy, which was the scariest place I’ve ever been on the road. Next would be New York City and Boston. I lived in South New Jersey for a year and half, and mastered the multi-lane traffic circles they are famous for.
Two weeks ago I was in Kauai, which if you haven’t been there is a very rural, layback island, nothing like Oahu with Honolulu and Waikiki. Mostly two lane roads everywhere. After a week there, I realized that not once in six days did I hear a car horn honk. There are lots of cars on the roads, and lots of stop and go traffic during rush hour, but everybody is just so chill that there is no aggression. They have passing lanes every so often, but they are rarely used (except by tourists). If it is crowded, and somebody needs to get on the road, or turn left, they will stop and wave them in.
I’ve driven Interstate 15 between Provo and SLC in Utah, and didn’t notice much difference than normal Los Angeles traffic. No worse, but also not any better. Should religious people in general, and Mormons in particular be better drivers, more courteous, more patient with their fellow drivers? For those readers that live in Utah, what is your experiences with your fellow Mormon drivers? Does anybody have any stories about vehicular encounters with General Authorities? Maybe a 70 that cut you off, or a Q15 member yielding to let you in?