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Show patience, respect for all drivers, even the slow ones

As a parent, one of the more stressful things to go through is when your child learns to drive. After many recommendations, I signed up our 15-year-old son for driver’s education through Community Ed. Many parents said the class taught thoroughness of driving rules, as well as drive time with an experienced instructor.

On Sunday, Feb. 25, my son had driving time from 10 a.m. to noon with his instructor in a car clearly marked with a large yellow “Student Driver” bumper sticker on it. Another student was also in the car, and they split the driving time. The students drove all over Hood River, gaining experience with reference points, changing lanes, and control of the car. My son was the last student to drive, and as he drove back towards the high school on Brookside Drive, he noticed someone tailgating him.

‘The person unleashed a string of profanity, clearly agitated at the slow driving.’

Those familiar with the road between Tucker Road and Indian Creek know that it has many curves, and so my son, who has had only a month of experience behind the wheel, was going a cautious 25 mph, and not the speed limit of 35. The person was tailgating dangerously close, according to the instructor, and may not have been able to see the bumper sticker.

At the stop sign by Brookside Road and Indian Creek, the person in the car behind jumped out of their car, clearly agitated. My son’s instructor stepped out of the car, and the person unleashed a string of profanity, clearly agitated at the slow driving. The person was not able to calm down and thankfully, my son’s instructor was able to get a name.

It is understandable to be frustrated when someone in front of you is driving too slow. As a parent, and member of this community, I ask all of you to please think about who is in the car ahead of you. Maybe it is someone learning to drive. Maybe it is an elderly citizen who is taking their time. Whatever the reason, profanity directed at a 15-year-old is not the solution for your frustration. I am thankful for the professional manner in which the instructor handled this. Please be safe on the roads, and think of others as you drive. Not everyone has as much experience behind the wheel, which is why the car says “Student Driver.”

Carolyn Welty-Fick lives in Hood River.



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