If you acknowledge that you’ve heard of the NBC hit police drama from a long time ago, “Hill Street Blues,” then you can’t help but date yourself. If you watched that 1980s show, you’re no spring chicken.
If you dug the show, then you remember how each episode started, with the morning gathering of New York City Police officers. They’d get a rundown from the elder statesman captain on where they needed to go and what they needed to do during the next shift. Then, without fail, as everyone got up to leave at the meeting’s conclusion, the captain would interrupt one last time with a valuable piece of advice: “Hey,” he’d say, with dramatic pause. “Let’s be careful out there.”
Words to live by, certainly. We don’t want to live in a cocoon, obviously, but proceeding with the necessary amount of cautious as we go through life is a wise strategy.
That goes without saying for when we’re behind the wheel of a vehicle. Everyone needs to drive defensively. Every one of us needs to be careful.
That goes as well for those currently barreling all over the Red River Valley in sugarbeet trucks, and those who drive our kids to and from school each day in big yellow buses.
We’re always told to look out for them, with good reason. When school starts each fall, motorists are reminded that school’s open again, and we need to “give bus drivers a brake.” Get it? We’re supposed to “brake” because of the precious cargo on board all those buses. Clever, indeed.
When the beet harvest gets underway, motorists are also told to be on the lookout for all those beet trucks on the road. It’s important that the harvest get completed in a timely fashion, we all know, because a good harvest is good for our region’s economy.
But, you know what? Those school bus drivers and those beet truck drivers, they need to look out for us at all times, too. Sure, they know that on principle, but that doesn’t mean they always put into practice what they’re well aware of.
It’s not like traffic rules go out the window when buses are taking kids to school in the morning and back home in the afternoon. It’s not like traffic laws are suspended for a couple weeks every October so the beet trucks can get to and from the factories as fast as possible.
Page 2 of 2 - The law is the law, and it doesn’t matter what you’re driving, what you’re carrying or how important your mission is: If you don’t yield to traffic that has the right-of-way, or if you simply pull out in front of someone and make them hit the brakes, you are not driving as you should.
This isn’t an attempt to be obnoxious. It’s just a reminder that we all share the road, and we all need to be on the lookout for each other, especially if some of us are driving vehicles much larger than most.
After all, life is a journey, they say, not a race.