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Just Write: Searching for common courtesy

Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 7:12 p.m.

Last week while driving along Business Interstate 376 in Moon, I wondered how we — collectively — became uncivilized.

It was a cold and snowy morning, so I was cautiously cruising along around the posted speed limit when a driver sped up quickly behind me before aggressively passing to the left.

Within moments, the driver attempted to cut me off, but realized there wasn't enough room between my car and the car ahead.

I became aware he was attempting to get into the exit lane for Thorn Run Road — something he could have done had he stayed behind me.

Instead of waving a proverbial white flag and accepting his faulty mission had backfired, the man placed his truck parallel to my car, leaving only inches between us as we were driving.

I can't say I was very calm. There might previously have been words and gestures exchanged, but at that moment, I focused on getting away from this man.

He realized he hadn't a chance, finally driving behind my vehicle, then turning into the exit lane.

We all come into contact with bad drivers. (None of us ever admit to being a bad driver.)

But rarely do I find myself in the kind of situation I described — where it seems as if something more serious than words and gestures might occur.

When did we lose our sanity? Nearly every morning driving across the Sewickley Bridge, drivers — sometimes several in a row — will go through red lights on Route 65. Posted speed limits have become the minimum, not maximum. And I'm beginning to believe turn signals are an add-on at the dealership.

It isn't just the road, though. We've lost civility anywhere we seem to interact with others.

There's plenty of room for all of us in the world. We've just got to slow down and recognize that.

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or

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