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June proclaimed turn signal month

By Staff | Jun 4, 2010

Just last week, a young man from a Christian family in the Minneapolis area was jailed for an outburst of road rage in which he, after a series of other maneuvers, rear-ended the object of his anger.

In the news account, his father asked for prayer.

The concerned parent didn’t specify the content of our prayers. Should we pray for the safety of the victim or should we pray that this aggressive youth would be overcome with a gentle spirit?We need some specific directions because God already knows the general circumstances. I’m holding off praying until I get specifics.

I’ll bet the kid had enrolled in Offensive Driving 101 on the Internet to learn new techniques for aggravating other motorists.From the way folks are driving these days, it must be a very popular course.

While I haven’t resorted to vehicle violence, Ruth gets an earful as I point out the driving misdemeanors of everyone else on the street. I have the sins of other drivers prioritized on a scale of wickedness and none rank higher than failure to use turn signals.

When I see an offender and become angry, my conscience quickly reminds me that this is not a good Christian response. So I ask God to forgive my anger and then I pray for the offender, usually that God will bless the idiot with a larger portion of common sense, bless his heart.

While using turn signals shouldn’t be so difficult, I imagine that drivers conjure up convincing rationalizations for neglecting their turn signals after I give them a blast on the horn.

“Stuff it! I’m a native North Dakotan. Nobody can tell me what to do.”

“What do you think I am an octopus? I can’t cell phone, steer and do the signal thing at the same time.”

“It’s none of your business where I’m going. I have a constitutional right to privacy.”

“Hey! Nobody gave me any guidance to help me along the way so get lost.”

“Go arrest my driver training instructor. He said you put your arm out the window to signal. I flunked the driver test three times.”

“Okay! I’ll put it on my to-do list for next week.”

“With the bitter political polarization these days, I don’t want anyone to know whether I’m turning left or right.”

Since taxpayers are not ready to finance a Department of Turn Signal Enforcement, or anything else for that matter, we must deal with the issue as we do with the other major problems in society. We just encourage people to do the right thing. With that objective, I am proclaiming June as “Turn Signal Month” and urging all drivers to learn about turn signals.

It is true that issuing proclamations is no longer in my jurisdiction but I didn’t think I could bother the governor with this one since he has already proclaimed June as the month for 13 other good causes, none of which are as important as turn signals.

Omdahl is a UND professor emeritus in political science and a former lieutenant governor of North Dakota.

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