Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: What are your pet peeves when driving?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Mar 31, 2014 7:53 AM

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, March 31, 2014:

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When it comes to driving, we all have at least one pet peeve that drives us absolutely bonkers.  In fact, we probably have more like two, three, or four of them.

There are many pet peeve offenders out there on our roads.  There’s the driver(s) who’s texting, Facebooking, or tweeting.  There’s the slow-poke going fifteen miles below the speed limit, and behind him is an entire train of cars because it’s a one lane road with nowhere to pass.  Or perhaps, it’s the driver that never uses his turn signal and whips around a corner at the last minute.

How about the speeders who whip out from behind you to pass to only get as far as two cars ahead.  Or the tailgaters. Or the drivers who never slow down at a yield sign and cut off traffic as they merge on to the highway.

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Trooper Adam Reed

Some of these quirks actually break driving laws.  What are those laws and whose breaking them?  Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Adam Reed joins us on Monday’s Smart Talk to discuss driver’s top pet peeves and how those pet peeves relate to driving laws.

What is your biggest driving pet peeve?  Share your pet peeves with us in the comments section and we may just use it on air.

Some of the top complaints:

  • Distracted driving (texting, etc)
  • Driving in the passing lane
  • Drivers not using their turn signals
  • Improper merging onto a highway
  • Drivers who don't stop at the stop-line

Listen to the program:

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  • Herb Werner Jr. img 2014-03-31 08:19

    I'm 62 and remember a question asked during my driving test at 16- " What are the 3 ways does one indicate their intentions?" Answers: turn signals, hand signals, and position of car. My pet peeve; people who don't position their car with clear intention. I've witnessed accidents when assumptions are made by those not driving defensively.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-31 08:20

    Lisa -

    Explain stop signs and stop LINES and the lack of stopping correctly. That keeps large vehicles from turning safe at intersections. They are not a suggestions.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-31 08:22

    Karen -
    My peeve are people who, even though they think they are being nice, slow down to let me merge unto fast moving traffic. They slow traffic down, if they don't indicate that they are letting you out by blinking there lights or something, you are trying to anticipate traffic speed, etc and then all of a sudden the person you are anticipating to pull out after they have passed starts to slow down. The only exception too this is when traffic is at a snails' pace and letting people merge facilitates movement.

  • ToddO img 2014-03-31 08:23

    This is always a fun show. A few pet peeves that I don't believe have been discussed yet...

    1) Drivers of giant 4x4 SUV's who can't muster more than 20 mph on a mildly snow-covered highway.
    2) Drivers who pull into the road suddenly, causing you to slow down, then drive well below the speed limit and turn 2 blocks later, causing you to slow down again.
    3) On a road that's narrowing from 2 lanes (in the same direction) to 1, drivers who always get in the lane that's ending, gun their engine, and try to pass everybody.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-31 08:25

    Frank -
    1. Drivers not using their turn signals.

    2. And although not directly a driving matter, people who throw out their cigarette butts when they're driving or stopped at a traffic signal.

  • Jess img 2014-03-31 08:26

    If you are allowed to make a left on two solid yellow lines, then why have solid lines and single broken lines if they are both allowed? I thought the reason we have solid yellow lines is because we are NOT allowed to cross them to make turns especially on a 4 lane road like Cameron St.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-31 08:28

    Miller –

    It makes me a little nuts when other drivers have the right of way (at a 4-way stop or when I'm waiting to cross oncoming traffic to turn left) and they stop to wave me ahead. It's sometimes unsafe, but mostly I prefer following the simple rules of yielding right of way to having to depend on people's (unreliable) feelings of goodwill.

  • Dave img 2014-03-31 08:30

    My pet pieve

    In a 4 way light it is green for me and the opposing lane. I am turning left and the oncoming vehicle is turning left also. We are essentially crossing each other @ the intersection. There is no turning lane for either of us.

    Often the vehicle behind the opposing vehicle will go around the oncoming vehicle omn the right, going off the side of the road to pass them, going straight through the intersection, often cutting me off as I am turning left.

    Who has the right of way in this situation? I would think two opposing vehicles turing left should be able to pass and the vehicle that goes off the road to go around the opposing vehicle should yield to me as i turn left.

    Thank you


  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-31 08:36

    Steve -
    Obstacles placed deliberately in the middle of many local roads, in the form of pedestrian crosswalk warnings, seem to be asking for trouble. Sure, they alert drivers to the crosswalk, but in fact they are drawing the driver's attention to the middle of the road and away from the curbline where a pedestrian may be stepping into traffic.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-31 08:37

    Eunice -
    I get really offended when I am going straight through the intersection and the person is turning left and they just keep going almost causing an accident. Who has the right of way in that situation?

  • ToddO img 2014-03-31 08:41

    Another annoyance that just came to mind...not a driving complaint but a traffic complaint: timed stop lights. In 2014, is there any sense in sitting at a stop light for a minute at 1am on a deserted road? Might Trooper Reed be aware of any initiatives (local/municipal/etc) to replace timed lights with intelligent ones?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-31 08:44

    Donna –

    It seems to me that so much of this discussion centers around not only failing to obey traffic laws, but simply exhibiting common courtesy on the road. We are all in such a hurry that the "me first" mentality trumps safety and courtesy.

    I also drive a 35-foot vehicle at times, and find that the truckers demonstrate better driving manners than passenger vehicles.

  • Sandy Ballard img 2014-03-31 08:49

    Pet Peeve --

    1. When drivers do not stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

    2. When Driver #2 tries to go around Driver #1 who is lawfully stopped for a Ped in a crosswalk.

    3. Pet Peeve -- that the police will can not give out a speeding ticket until the the driver is going 15 mph over the limit. In a 25 zone - that is 40 MPH -- way too fast!

    4. Pet Peeve -- The fact that a Ped has to step one foot into cross walk (and zone of danger) before the driver must lawfully yield.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-03-31 09:08

    Jess in York County says...
    Possibly a good topic not touched on that affects us all at some point to emphasize for the next time the topic comes up:

    If everyone would keep a safe following distance when approaching a lane closure, enough so that a vehicle from the closing lane can safely merge without making traffic come to a stop, lane closures would not result in huge back ups of stopped/crawling traffic, as traffic would keep flowing at ~45mph or what ever the safe/posted speed for the closure is.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-03-31 09:09

    Will writes...
    The Federal Highway Administration put out a report that said if heavy trucks were not on the highways our roads as constructed would stay virtually free of potholes and defects many many times longer. To aid “commerce” we put up with the much higher expense of making our road pavements much sturdier to support the weight of tractor-trailers.

    In my years of driving about a half-million miles across the Commonwealth I have seen virtually only a handful of times when the truck weigh stations are open. So it seems overweight trucks have a free shot to use our highways without risk (and THAT is my “pet peeve”).

    Please ask the Trooper to discuss the use of truck weigh stations by frequency (that is, why they are so infrequently used) and by impediments to their regular use by such things as policy from State Police management and possible interference by politicians.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-03-31 09:10

    Jess says...
    It seems the driving requirements need to be significantly increased to ensure drivers know how to drive safely before they are allowed behind the wheel.

    Additionally, more fines should be replaced by/supplemented by short license suspensions for a two days or a week so that people start taking driving more seriously as opposed to the harm it can cause to other people when drivers do not put sufficient effort in to driving safely. Situations where other drivers safety and health are jeopardized such as texting/talking and driving, speeding, tailgating and failure to yield especially would benefit from this altered penalty. These are legislative issues more so than traffic enforcement, but would reduce accidents by removing dangerous/careless drivers from the road and reducing traffic congestion from accidents, as well as reducing insurance costs.

    The amount of violations taking place makes the roadways more of a wild west type scenario, that regardless of funding, it seems the state and local police would be faced with a daunting, if not impossible task in changing behavior.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-03-31 09:12

    Kimberly writes...
    1. those really bright blue headlights on some cars are just blinding, terrible

    2. drivers not moving over to the empty lane so folks can merge into traffic off an exit ramp

    3. any one who has not rode along in a semi-truck, as I have done, has not a clue on how dangerous that job is, and the majority of accidents involving big trucks are caused by poor drivers in cars. No one pays any more attention to big trucks than they do to motorcycles. And most company trucks have a speed limit installed in the truck so they can't go over 62. So give them a break.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-03-31 09:12

    Steve writes...
    What is the legal consensus on some of the "tuner" type vehicles that have started running wheels with extremely stretched tires. Tires which are way undersized for the rims they are mounted and just barely hanging on. Or the extreme camber angles that I see some cars running. There has got to be a safety issue with these set-ups. What can be enforced on these vehicles?

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-03-31 09:13

    David says...
    Following up an an earlier caller’s email, here’s a pet peeve about traffic controls in Lancaster. I’ve experimented and the signals are NOT sequenced to 25 mph per the speed limit, but are set for 35 mph.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-03-31 09:16

    Dave writes...
    Two things: one is people talking on cell phones and two, when in a long back-up with a long merge to your right people trying to "Jump spaces" when they should wait in line like the rest. Is there a law on that one?

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-03-31 09:33

    Denny says...
    Good Morning Scott,
    The thing that gets me more than anything are drivers that that block both lanes on the approach to a lane closure thus causing a greater back up of cars. I believe the method should be utilizing both lanes until the merge then taking turns combining into one lane.
    Please ask the trooper to comment on what is proper in this situation.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-03-31 11:29

    Newsweek Magazine just this article on why the U.S. has more traffic fatalities than Europe.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-03-31 12:57

    This just in today...
    All new cars, SUVs, minivans and pickups weighing less than 10,000 pounds must have backup cameras by May 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today.

  • Destiny Brown img 2015-06-11 01:44

    Actually it's the responsibility of pet owner to be careful and take the proper care and socialize the pet in a proper manner so he/she can understand the right direction to behave in public.

  • webbrowan img 2016-03-08 22:33

    Goodness, I have so many of my own, but most of which are already listed here! I would just say that it's important to keep your cool as much as possible no matter what happens though. You don't want to find yourself in a road rage or accident type of situation. Nobody likes to have to call up your car insurance company to make a claim or worse - if you get hurt in a crash!