Dreadful, Dopey, Deadly Drivers

From time to time — okay, a lot — I talk about Westport drivers.

Not in a real positive way, either.

Readers always comment, adding their own examples, insights and invectives.

But we’re the blog version of Sunday drivers, compared to another website.

Dreadful Drivers devotes itself twice a week — and solely — to the “anger, bafflement, disbelief and, very occasionally, amusement” created by the antics of Fairfield County motorists.

Yesterday’s post was a classic. Referring only to Westport, it read:

Holy smokes, it’s been a bad week on the roads in this little zip code.

Three incidents stand out:

An SUV driver pointed a handgun at the passenger of another car on the Wilton Road. What a nice fellow. According to the news report, the gun-toter overtook another car in a no-passing zone and when both cars were later stopped at an intersection, the passenger of the passed car  got out (terrible mistake! never do that!) and went to the SUV. Whereupon he found himself staring at a handgun. Police later tracked down the SUV driver and found him in – legal – possession of a Glock .40-caliber handgun. 

A woman driving on Bayberry Lane slammed her Buick SUV into a utility pole so hard that she snapped the pole. Bayberry Lane twists, winds, dips and climbs and would be Westport’s own rally track, except that it’s a public road, lined with (rather large) houses so the speed limit is 25 mph (and 20 mph in places). So either the driver had a medical incident (quite possible), wasn’t looking at the road (very possible) or was driving too fast (everyone does). Bayberry Lane is also popular with cyclists and runners, me included. I’ll avoid it from now on. If Buick driver can’t see steer clear of a utility pole, then moving targets have no chance.

This drunk driver could be any other, until you read the detail of the story. Police had tried to stop the woman driver on the Post Road, but she proceeded onto the I-95 northbound. While driving within the speed limit, she was swerving widely in her lane. Local and state police cruisers brought the car to a halt and the woman driver, smelling of alcohol, “could not stand up on her own and had trouble keeping her eyes open” according to cops. WTF. WTF! Take away her driving license and give her a bus pass.

Beyond dreadful.

“Dreadful Drivers” is right. It is beyond dreadful.

But also waaaaay  too typical.

26 responses to “Dreadful, Dopey, Deadly Drivers

  1. 1. The man with the handgun was from SHELTON!

    2. How do we know either woman is from Westport?

    3. I’m glad we are fine with blindly assuming the woman was speeding down Bayberry, and didn’t just slip on the pedal…have a medical incident…swerve to avoid something. Whatever. We don’t know all the facts.

    Give me a break with this complaining! If you expanded your perspective of driving to, I don’t know, New York? Could you imagine how many posts would be talking about motorists?

    Enough.

  2. Dan, these stories are horrifying and too close to home. But I want to put in a word for considerate and responsible drivers. Every weekday morning sometime between 7 & 7:30 I drive up Colony and Terhune (is Pumpkin Hill in between?) to North Avenue where I must go left to Bedford Middle School. There is always a long line of cars coming down North Ave. toward Staples (and I-95) and another long line going the opposite direction toward Bedford (and the Merritt). It is a tricky spot to negotiate early in the morning and I assume many of the drivers are young, so I am cautious there. I never have to wait very long before there is a break in one direction and a driver coming the other way notices and stops to wave me through. It is a small thing, but it is evidence of courteous, mindful driving.

  3. Here I was afraid of deer,chipmunks and other wildlife……

  4. Fast entitled driving is a national epidemic and perhaps needs more attention and “complaining” as people’s lives are at stake. Westport doesn’t corner the market on it, however…. for a 26,000 or so population town with windy roads, maybe people need to slow down. I’m always amazed at the fast and impatient drivers in town when we visit in the summer. Maybe the whole nation can push the reset button and start some kinder driving and a little less “my life is more important than your life so get out of the way!” It’s truly obnoxious and stands out in Westport — sorry. Every life has value and maybe recognizing that fact will slow folks down.

    • So what happens if I am trying to get to a meeting or important appointment on time and due to the distraction of a driver, or perhaps unexpected construction/traffic, I am delayed? Yet I left plenty of time.

      I drive safely, but I drive with purpose. There are many people who take the complete opposite approach and treat Monday morning rush hour like a slow Sunday drive. It is ridiculous and only makes us more impatient.

      As long as you are driving with respect to the rules, there needs to be a fair balance of how we drive. You complain about “impatient” drivers, yet we are not allowed to complain about those who drive 5 – 10 miles below the speed limit since it is following the law.

    • I think that many of the folks that drive recklessly in Wesport are from out of town. I’d like to have people stop visiting us here in the summer, actually year ’round so we can see if it makes a difference. I think it will.

      • We’ve been back to visit plenty of times not in summer — CT is beautiful in all seasons – one of the most beautiful states in US imho – and we have family all around Northeast area. I think what Drivin Man expresses isn’t unique to Westport however, the driving fast just stands out due to the size of the town and the back roads being wooded and windy. It’s all over — that kind of rushing people feel they must do to live. It’s too sad really — I commuted in rush hour traffic in another large city for many years before I began to work out of my home – to me it’s gotten worse everywhere – I didn’t mean to just single out Westport in the summer. I’m making a personal observation, the pace has gotten worse everywhere and I feel for humanity being pushed in this way — slow down and be safe. But maybe I’ve just removed myself from the rat race long enough that it stands out to me more. I think Dreadful Drivers could be a site anywhere USA almost. I know it could be where we live. Drive on and be safe and keep our fellow man safe.

  5. Say hello to my little friend

    The gun was legal and registered, the other person GOT OUT OF THEIR VEHICLE AND WENT UP TO THE WINDOW of the other driver. How did that driver know the other didn’t have a weapon? Cops do it all the time as a way to insure their safety.
    I think you’re liberal anti-gun mindset has got the better of you.
    Question – what if the other fellow had a gun?

    • I have a hard time believing that the gun waving driver thought he was imminent danger when the other driver approached his car.

      Gun Waver knew exactly why the guy was coming up to him, he just didn’t feel like being told what he already knew – that he’s an asshole who drives unsafely.

      He thought after he cut that car off that he would just speed away lickety-split and never have to be admonished for his actions. Uh-oh traffic light.

      Gun Waver started the altercation by cutting the other guy off in the first place. If he did think the person approaching had a gun, wouldn’t he have driven off? The absolute LAST resort would be to get into a shoot-out. Gun Waver wasn’t trapped in a corner, he was in a car that could drive away if he felt so threatened. Its the mentality of ‘Oh yeah, I’ve got a gun so back off or I’ll shoot you’ that the anti-gun lobby has a problem with, and I gotta say I agree with that. Statistics show again and again that if a person owns a gun, that gun will be used in some sort of incident.

      You want to carry a gun? Fine. You have a right to. Get a license and knock yourself out. But with that comes an enormous responsibility. What that guy did is an incredible and obvious abuse of the privilege and his license should be taken away. If you can’t understand why, then nothing I can say to you will change your mind.

  6. Say hello to my little friend

    Also if you want to be ‘outraged’ about guns, why don’t you start with the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious program arming drug cartels and killing hundreds including our own border agents.
    Instead you and your liberal cheerleaders will feign outrage over this incident, which is most likely legal (as it should be since the person felt a reasonable threat had approached him).
    Liberal, if it weren’t for double standards they’d have no standards at all.

  7. Sven Davidson

    Drivin Man: So are you the guy crawling up my tailpipe and making rude digital gestures behind me when I’m driving 5-10 mph ABOVE the posted speed limit?

    • I’m the one driving with the natural/average “flow” of traffic.. 5 – 10 mph ABOVE the speed limit, like you.

      I’m talking about the people who refuse to get anywhere above 20 mph. Or even 15 mph. There are more of those drivers out there then you realize. Not due to age or ability, but because they are distracted and/or oblivious.

      Look in your rearview mirror once in a while. It’s a simple request!

      • So according to you, someone going 25 mph on a 25 mph road is obstructing your right to speed. The world weeps for you.

        • I would strongly argue that 20 mph on a straight 25 mph roadway, like Weston Rd or North Ave, is silly. 15 mph is just too slow.

          But most will disagree. Including the police, of course.

  8. Incident Report I’m on my way to my photo lab in Bethel yesterday, and a car two cars ahead of me is honking and swerving as if trying to overtake the SUV ahead. In front of me, black pickup. Stoplight.

    A young woman from the honking car gets out, runs with arms flailing to the SUV. Black pickup senses trouble and his back up lights go on. I start to reverse, too. Young woman pulls the SUV door open, man inside jumps out, they embrace and have a fierce ten-second kiss. We all honk in delight, girl dances back to her car, light turns green, the afternoon continues…

    What do I think? We need longer traffic lights.

  9. Karl Decker: A rare moment of driving delight!! Excellent!

    Anon:
    1/ I made the point that you should never get out of your car (because it inevitably leads to an escalation). However if handgun guy was so worried, why didn’t he just drive off?
    2/ I never said that. The incidents happened IN Westport. Where the drivers are from (including hangun guy) is irrelevant.
    3/ I’m not blindly assuming anything. I laid out some possibilities. But, in fairness, forgot to mention that the driver could have been attempting to avoid a deer – also very possible. The point remains: I have never seen anyone drive within the speed limit on Bayberry Lane. It’s a dangerous road. Ask some cyclists. Or the people who live there.

    • another anon

      The guy that owns the gun — owns one because he assumes everyone else has a gun — the guy or woman who approached the car — yes, stupid in retrospect, never even considered the thought that the person would be carrying a gun, and probably just wanted to explain to the other guy the rules about legal (and safe) passing in Westport….Boy was he or she in for a surprise…. When one person carries a gun, it makes others feel the need that they should too — that’s why guns should be banned!

      • Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

        “Guns Should Be Banned!!!!!!”

        Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

      • You have no idea why he owns a gun, and you have no idea why the individual left one car and approached another. In short you have no evidence on which base either your assumptions or your arguments.

  10. Dreadful Drivers —

    Since it seems you don’t actually LIVE in this town, it’s kind of hard to take you seriously. You probably just troll the Westport blogs and police blotter for your information. Or do you spend time driving around Westport all day, scouting out the various wrongdoers?

    Please. Give me a break. This is pathetic.

    • Mister Asterisk

      Anon,

      Your mastery of the logical fallacy and straw man argument is flawless. Such a breathtaking ability to miss the point is dazzling at close quarters. Far be it from a simple blog poster to intrude upon the web of ignorance that you have evidently spun around yourself, but there is indeed a world that exists more than six inches beyond the tip of your nose.

      Driving a motor vehicle is not a right, it is a privilege. As such, it conveys with it certain responsibilities, foremost of which is to do no harm to your fellow travelers. Now, it may come as a shock to you that your need to compensate for inadequate endowment in certain bodily areas is a secondary consideration to (gasp!) the well being of someone who is not you, but such is life in what is ostensibly a civilized society.

      Driving while texting, driving while eating, driving while yakking on the phone, driving while carrying some rodent of a canine on one’s lap. All are endemic to the United States generally and Westport in particular. Perhaps that’s why the good old USA slots in between noted bastions of driver safety Bangladesh and Jamaica on the rankings of traffic fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants. Perhaps that’s good enough for our self-absorbed Anon above. As for me, I’d rather shoot for better road safety so that we can catch up with Uzbekistan and Egypt in the road-safety rankings.

  11. Really? Actually I do live in this town. And I drive here. And run and cycle on the roads.
    I’m calling out people who, through reckless and thoughtless driving, put other people’s lives and wellbeing in danger.

  12. And I don’t “troll” anything.

  13. I used to be an impatient, aggressive driver and while i haven’t changed completely, I started making a real effort to be courteous and considerate a few years ago. I was driving downtown, raging at the stupidity of out-of-state drivers around me…and it occurred to me that these people are on vacation, exploring the area. I’m lucky to live in a town people love to visit and remembering that makes it easier to be tolerant and contribute to making their stay pleasant by not being a jerk behind the wheel.