Fredericton — Capital city residents are notoriously incompetent when it comes to driving, but what they lack in skill they make up for in solidarity, all agreeing that the best time to use the turn signal is after you’re already in the intersection.
“You don’t really need to signal at all, in my opinion, but if you’re going to, you might as well wait until you’re already turning in whatever direction you plan to go,” said self-described professional driver Andy McCain, 46. “It’s been a few decades since I took my driving test but I don’t remember anything about indicating. If it were important I think it’d stand out in my memory.”
Debra Reid agrees, saying that she doesn’t signal unless the person in the car behind her starts honking.
“Sometimes you get these rude drivers tailgating you from like 10 feet away — usually out-of-towners — and they slam on the horn, and I’m not sure why but when you signal that seems to calm them down quite a bit. So I’ll do it to appease jerks like that. But otherwise, what’s the point? Most people get the gist of where you’re trying to go and don’t need it spelled out for them.”
Reid added that, instead of merging, she almost always stops entirely.
“In merging situations I generally just slam the brakes on and wait until the lane is totally empty, then I pull on in and gun the gas. Signalling and continuing smoothly into the lane isn’t necessary in a small city like Fredericton. You can kinda just play it by ear.”
Jeff Nixon said he’s lived in Fredericton his entire life, and he attributes his excellent intuition on the roads to that fact.
“I see things like signalling, not texting while driving, wearing a seatbelt, and driving sober more as suggestions…If you don’t know your way around or you’re a new driver, type deal. But I’m a born and bred Frederictonian and I feel like the cops and other drivers get that — you don’t need to paint them a whole picture of what you intend to do on the roads. Just go with the flow, you know?”
Most Frederictonians also agreed that signalling in roundabouts is “just for show-offs.”
“I’m not sure what the so-called ‘laws’ are with roundabouts, but it’s a traffic circle — circles have no angles or edges so there’s only one way you could be going, and that’s around,” reasoned Jessica Bridges. “So if you’re using your turn signal in a roundabout you’re probably just a snooty show-off from Naasis or something.”