Letters 2-26-14


Driver education not on par with the world

There have been numerous letters about speed enforcement in West Hawaii Today lately, but the real problem is not the few who drive faster than the speed limit. Unfortunately, driver education in the U.S. (not to mention in Hawaii) is inferior compared to most other countries with car cultures. The rules of the road aren’t limited to that little what people learned in driver’s education classes. There are many finer points of car driving that are in danger of being totally lost in this era of distracted driving. These are skills that can be traced back to drivers who knew the rules of the road to begin with. Rules like how to help traffic flow.

In Germany, Italy and other serious car cultures, lane discipline makes for blissfully efficient highway driving. Emulate a European and go faster in the left lane, and slower in the right lane. No exceptions. Trying to make a left turn and waiting for the opposite lane of traffic to pass? Pull as close to the center line as possible, so the cars behind you can go around you on the right and don’t have to wait for you to make that left turn and clear the road. No exceptions.

The use of turn signals is “Driving 101” yet many drivers don’t use them and believe that others on the road are mind readers and know of their intentions.

And last but not least, no, you don’t have to keep your foot on the brake while driving, and that mirror in your car is not for shaving.

John S. Rabi

Kailua-Kona

Feral cat problem around longer than Humane Society

In a letter published Feb. 14, “Policy on feral cats angers resident,” Pat Hall aims some harsh comments at the Hawaii Island Humane Society. Perhaps it is a bit hasty to condemn the organization for a problem that has been around longer than it has.

When Mark Twain visited Hawaii he wrote in “Roughing It” of seeing” cats — Tom-cats, Mary Ann cats, long-tailed cats, bob-tailed cats, blind cats, one-eyed cats, wall-eyed cats, cross-eyed cats, gray cats, black cats, white cats, yellow cats, striped cats, spotted cats, tame cats, wild cats, singed cats, individual cats, groups of cats, platoons of cats, companies of cats, regiments of cats, armies of cats, millions of cats, and all of them sleek, fat, lazy and sound asleep.” Sounds like a 5 p.m. visit to the Kealekehe transfer station, but Twain wrote that in 1866.

Alan Silverman

Kailua-Kona