Impatient drivers who honk their horns display their ignorance of rules of the road and manners.

This newspaper recently highlighted traffic peril at the Manchester intersection of Route 202 and Bowdoin Street. At that location, Route 202 comprises two eastbound lanes and one lane westbound. Maine laws give vehicles traveling along 202 rights of way over vehicles exiting Bowdoin Street. Additionally, drivers exiting Bowdoin Street have restricted views of eastbound traffic because of a crest in the road.

Recently, I was preparing to exit Bowdoin Street when I stopped my vehicle and signaled an eastward, left turn onto 202. At the same time, two vehicles stopped on 202 signaled their intention to make left turns into Bowdoin Street. The driver of the lead vehicle on 202 waved his arm vigorously, urging me to enter 202, but I deemed the time to be unsafe.

Horns all around began a symphony of impatience. Apparently, those drivers expected me to turn on 202, and move into the lane obstructed by the vehicles intending to turn into Bowdoin Street. They probably assumed the traffic moving east on 202 would relinquish rights of way to both lanes. I have a driver’s license at 82 because I don’t honor assumptions.

Despite horn-honking and arm-waving all around me, I held my ground and moved onto Route 202 only when the coast was clear. Because I was a district court judge for 15 years, processing a quarter of a million cases, many of them traffic-related, I elected to avoid the invitation to peril.

Strange, too, although the lead driver on Route 202 thought I should come out, he hesitated to come in — even though he had the right of way.

John BenoitManchester

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