TRDATMs, repent!

The TRDATMs are at it again. I’d better explain. Lurking among the well-educated population of our town one can find a group whose members believe in the motto The Rules Don’t Apply to Me. One can actually pronounce their name: terDATum. Try it.

TRDATMs are everywhere, breaking rules and laws that make sense to the rest of us who faithfully observe them. Most of their rule-breaking passes unnoticed, but we see them in action in traffic a lot, particularly this time of year. I’ll share an example or two.

Our state requires motorists to drive with their full-beam headlights turned on from 30 minutes before sunset and until 30 minutes after sunrise. Other states have similar laws on the books. Why, then, do we see so many drivers ignoring this sensible law that’s there for everyone’s safety? Easy: The Rules Don’t Apply to Me people are at it. North Carolina law also insists that drivers turn on full headlights anytime the weather requires them to use their windshield wipers. Count the violators as they whiz along, ignoring yet another sensible law that‘s there to make us all safer.

Our faithful law enforcement officers are too busy dealing with more serious issues, so TRDATMs tend to get away with their cavalier violations. So they proliferate, and we dodge them, when we can see them through the twilight and the rain.

TRDATMs can have a second name on occasion when they park in a fire lane or in a space reserved for a handicapped motorist. In our family, we call these folks IOGTBAMs. One can pronounce that, too: eye-AHG-ta-bam. Try it. Stands for “I’m Only Going To Be A Minute.” In most cases, that’s not true in, and too often, a driver legitimately entitled to use that space shows up and must settle for one a greater distance from his or her destination and walk much farther, usually with difficulty.

If you are a TRDATM or an IOGTBAM, shame on you. Get with the program. Follow the rules like the rest of us. Repent, and sin no more. You’ll feel much better. And we’ll all be safer and love you for it. That’s a promise.

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