The good news:
A recent survey has ranked Idaho No. 1 in America for the most polite drivers.
The bad news:
Out-of-state road rage drivers like this no-account reporter best not be trashing Silver Valley courteous motorists while writing for a family newspaper. Who does she think she is with her uppity tailgating and big words to boot?
Typical California driver.
“Idaho has always had friendly drivers,” said Chris Schenck, native Northern Idahoan who serves as Idaho State Police Patrol Lt. Chris Schenck, District One, “but it (survey) must have been taken before all the out-of -state drivers came in and are not so friendly.”
Actually, the nonprofit Kars4Kids commissioned the nation wide survey of 2500 licensed drivers earlier this year as part of its Drive Human campaign designed to promote polite driving, reduce road rage and remind folks that its people driving not faceless cars.
Yeah, tell that to those I-90 meth mobiles careening through the panhandle.
Besides Idaho ranked as No. 1, Oregon was No. 3, Montana No. 4, and Washington No. 8 for polite drivers. California ranked No. 17 yawn. And the Big Apple ranked worst. No surprise there.
The survey determined female drivers between ages 51 and 64 as the most polite drivers except the Little Old Lady from Pasadena and this reporter:
Do you use your turning signals?
Hand gestures suffice.
Do you respond rudely when being tailgated?
Is the pope Catholic?
Would you speed up to stop someone from passing you?
No one passes this Zipper Suited Road God.
So why is Idaho, or at least parts, a hot bed for polite drivers?
Is it the potatoes? 2nd amendment etiquette? Something in the water?
But of course.
The rate of politeness among Silver Valley Drivers is directly related to such aquifer contaminants as arsenic, zine and lead.
“It’s a matter that Idaho is predominantly rural and slow paced compared to the drive through city atmosphere,” said Osborne Police Chief Darell Braaten.
“People wave here on a regular basis. We rarely see cases of road rage in this area.”
Speaking of contaminants, officials warn that urban areas such as Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls have now been infected with sleeper cells of impolite drivers radicalized by The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.”
“I am lucky as a law enforcement officer and a citizen that I haven’t seen the type of road rage here, that you see in bigger cities,” said Keith Aamodt, Kellogg Police patrol officer. “I do believe road rage is a sweeping epidemic in bigger cities.”
While not Eden but close, the Silver Valley still seems to have largely resisted much of the urban road rage.
The Idaho State Police, District One, report daily road rage dispatches for texting, tailgating, reckless driving, camping out of the left lane, driving too slow or diving too fast.
More escalated incidents of road rage can include verbal and/or physical assault, firearms and even murder.
When it comes to roads, motorist entitlement supersedes politeness due to in-state/out-of-state influx of Attila the Hun drivers (like this reporter).
These barbarians would sooner mount your hood ornament on their dashboard then allow you to merge.
“People either feel they are entitled to go as slow as they want since it’s their road, or as fast as they want,” said Schenck.
“I’ve had people brandishing weapons at another person because of road rage,” said Schenck.
When the Drive Human campaign ranked Idaho No. 1, it recognized the state’s still existent but threatened rural areas where driving human is more than a four letter word.
How long can Silver Valley motorists withstand their urban brethrens’ onslaught of bad driving behavior?
A good analogy: think pine beetles.
In fact, near extinct kumbaya moments of interstate courtesy seemed destined to go the way of the Dodo Bird due to the proliferation of in-state/out of state zombie driver racing stormtroopered kamikaze beamers or The Dukes of Hazzard “don’t tread on me” mobiles.
In any case, those blacked out windows and blacked out brains, flaming the roadways in rolling tombstones… must be California drivers.
“It’s nice to hear that Idaho is ranked No. 1. I wouldn’t have guessed it. We have a long way to go,” said Terrence Anderson, English teacher/Drivers Ed program director at Kellogg High School.
Anderson said he read that road rage fatalities had increased and those with “guns in the cars are more likely to show signs of road rage.”
Idahoans love their guns,” said Anderson “so I try to teach my students that is really isn’t worth it to get angry. It’s best to just let it go.”
“If we could all just relax and leave a couple minutes early, maybe we could get along on the roadway.”