Guest Commentary: The real rules of the Wilton road
As a Wilton resident since 1970, I have observed the behaviors of Wilton drivers as they have deteriorated over the last 42 years. I served as police commissioner in Wilton for 16 of those 42 years. In my professional opinion, the vast majority of Wilton drivers have decided to supersede state statutes with their own Real Rules of the Wilton Road.
Hereby codified are the driving behaviors of Wilton drivers, just about every one of which is a violation of state law. These are stated in the voice of the driver — that’s you. These are … The Real Rules of the Wilton Road:
1.Every red light means an aircraft carrier landing.
2.Every green light means a catapult launch.
3.Every yellow light means I hit the after-burners.
4.Legal definition of Right of Way: “I’m right! Get out of my way!”
5.Everyone must be British because they all straddle the double yellow and drive on the left side of the road.
6.Pedestrians crossing or walking the roads are a nuisance without Right of Way.
7.Stop signs are merely advisories.
8.Even “pretend” stops are too much work for me.
9.If I’m stopped behind the first in line at a stop sign, then I can run the stop sign full speed when it’s my turn. It’s called the Vicarious Stop. Everyone knows this.
10. Speed limits are quaint and old fashioned.
11. Speed limits are fine except when I go downhill. Then, they don’t count.
12. Yield signs mean, “You yield! Get out of my way!”
13. Merge signs are a challenge to my territoriality. I will fight for the lane.
14. School-zone speed limits are to be ignored except when my kid goes to that school.
15. School-zone speed limits are to be ignored except when school buses run. So, I can ignore school-zone speed limits on weekends, holidays, when it’s dark, whenever.
16. Stopped, flashing school buses are to be ignored when I’m running late.
17. Holding and talking on a cell phone is really OK for me because I’m important and I must say important things to other important people.
18. Other drivers holding and talking on their phones are all morons who slow me down. They should be arrested.
19. Anyone in front of me obeying the speed limit is just out to get me.
20. It’s OK to cross the double yellow to pass others if I’m in a hurry.
21. Aggressive tailgating compresses the air between me and the guy in front of me. This will make him go faster. Everyone knows this.
22. Turn signals are so “yesterday.” Everyone should know when I’m about to turn. And, if they didn’t follow me so closely, it would be easier to react to my un-signaled turn.
23. The town should put speed bumps in my neighborhood, but in no one else’s neighborhood because that would slow me down.
24. It’s never me who is driving badly. It’s all those other knuckleheads.
25. Anyway, all these silly state laws are for everyone else, not for me. Besides, the Wilton Police will let me go without a ticket because I’m local, I’m a taxpayer and I’m just too important. I will simply tell the Police Officer to “get over it” and refer the Officer to The Real Rules of the Wilton Road.
Mr. Mitchell, who live on Indian Hill Road, was a police commissioner in Wilton from 1984 to 2001. The Police Commission also serves as the town’s statutory Traffic Authority.