Friday, August 25, 2006

Thursday's Big Drama

Thursday, Alex was begging to go to McDonald's for lunch. I talked him into going to the mall where he could have a kid's meal from Chick Fil A, and then go to the play area. I felt that he deserved a special reward, because he was doing so well on his potty training. So, around one, we headed out to the mall. On the way, Alex fell asleep, so I decided that I would just turn around and go home, scoop him out of the car and put him in his bed so that he could take a decent nap.

Highway 183 in the East bound direction is usually pretty light in the afternoon, but at one point, traffic became congested and slowed to a stop. I stopped, but the person behind me didn't. Fortunately, I had stopped with enough room that the impact didn't push me into the truck that was in front of me, so the accident was contained to just me and the person who hit me. And, no one in either vehicle was injured. I immediately pulled off to the shoulder, called 911 and requested police back-up. I got out of my car and walked over to the other car and took a pic of the license plate with my cell phone, tried to call Pete's cell, and work and got no answer, got a pen and paper from my car and proceeded to ask the driver of the other car for a driver's license and insurance card so that I could take down their info only to quickly become aware of the fact that they did not speak English. I verified this by asking, "Hablas Ingles?" to which she replied, "No". I stood around waiting for the police, and called 911 again to make sure that they were indeed on their way. It took them more than 10 minutes to get there ... good thing nobody was bleeding! When the officer got there, he asked what had happened and I told him that they rear-ended me, and explained to him that they evidently didn't speak English and asked him if he spoke Spanish, which unfortunately, he didn't. He did, however, know the Spanish word for "insurance card" to which they replied that they had none. I gave the officer my driver's license and proof of insurance, and stood around trying to calm Teagan down while he and the other officer who showed up a bit later to help him out filled out paperwork. Here's the kicker: The girl was driving a car that didn't belong to her, without insurance, and without a driver's license. Satisfyingly, she was ticketed for all the aforementioned violations and I believe "failure to yield", too. However, we are left to sort out getting my car fixed (we have comprehensive coverage, but there's a $250 uninsured motorist deductible) and our insurance company has to try to track down these people (the driver and the owner of the vehicle) and try to make them pay up. And, unfortunately Bedford hasn't yet jumped on the bandwagon of north Texas cities that instantly impound uninsured vehicles that are involved in an accident.

My RANT #1: We spend over $1400 per year on car insurance, and we have clean driving records, obey traffic laws, don't get tickets, are in that 30+ married group that supposedly has to pay less for insurance, and drive modest vehicles. If we cough up that kinda capital, so should everyone else. Yet part of the reason that car insurance premiums in north Texas are so high is because it's common knowledge that an overwhelming portion of the population is going to get insurance for the one month that they must to have it to renew their registration, and then drop it. If they even bother to go as far as getting it and registering their vehicle. My solution: Make the penalty for getting caught driving without insurance so severe that everyone pays for it for fear of the alternative. I say, shoot the uninsured on the spot! (*wink*) We don't need their kind of trash on our streets, or drinking what little water we have left, either, for that matter!

My RANT #2: If you're going to move to the United States, learn to speak the language. I would never gather together a gaggle of my friends and relatives, move to Russia illegally, and expect the people who were already there to learn English so that they could talk to me. Yet, in Texas that's exactly what happens when you look around and suddenly realize that Caucasian, English-speakers are in the minority. I know that we have really good Mexican food here, but I don't think it's a fair trade. I know that there are a lot of business owners who enjoy paying $2.50/hour under the table, but they should have to be accountable, too. Don't get me started on immigration reform!

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