On Boston Drivers...

Yes, they are a notorious bunch. I hereby offer a couple more exhibits for the evidence pile: First is a somewhat whiney account from a freshly exposed youngster who thinks she's been around long enough to have an authoritative opinion: Massholes

Yes, the popular term is “Masshole,� but that’s something of a misnomer. You see, the trouble with Boston drivers is not really that they’re jerks on the road—I’ve driven alongside my share of New York cabbies and asphalt cowboys. Boston drivers are a different breed. Their driving wavers somewhere between oblivious and schizophrenic. They stop dutifully in the left lane at a stoplight because that’s the lane they were driving in—even though there’s nobody in the other lane. They fade between lanes with no semblance of purpose—or sometimes even intention. I’ve driven in front of buses at night that had no lights on. More than once, someone has tried to merge in from the right—right into my passenger door.

That’s the thing. Boston drivers aren’t bad, they’re scary. Congratulations, folks: you frighten me.

This is fairly typical stuff, especially for someone who has been in the area less than, say, five years.

More damning, however is this bit about Boston cabbies not wearing seatbeltsbecause they don't have to!!

Published in today's Annals of Emergency Medicine, the survey by Fernandez and other BMC emergency room doctors found that of 250 taxi drivers observed during a four-day period last June, only 17 were properly belted in. The doctors stationed observers throughout the city where cabs are common, to note and record whether the driver was wearing a seat belt.

Industry lobbyists pushed for the exclusion from the seat belt law back in the late 1980s, saying that being strapped in was inconvenient for cabdrivers, who frequently get in and out of their vehicle.

The mind boggles. How did the cabbies get the exemption? Well, they argued that the belt would slow them down too much considering how often they get in and out of their cars to load/unload luggage and such. Oh, and since they mostly drive in the city at speeds under 30 mph, a seatbelt would be silly anyway.

Yeah right. Show any cabbie in any town two blocks of open road and I bet they'll get to 60 in no time. Time is money and speed equals time.