Solidarity on the Road

You’ve heard the stereotypes about Italian drivers, right? Well, there is more than a grain of truth to them. Many grains. Driving in Italy is not something that this Oregonian is much of a fan of. Of course there are plenty of good drivers, and plenty of people who do not view pedestrians as worth stopping for only to avoid having to wash the car, but suffice it to say that there are a lot of fairly rude individuals plying the Italian roads. Perhaps the problem is that no one ever seems to get in trouble for breaking the law on the roads (or much of anywhere else for that matter)? In any case, after being passed dangerously, cut off, had countless cars ride a meter off my bumper at high speeds, watched people careening around town in their SUV’s chattering on their phones and so on, the idea of Italian drivers selflessly helping one another out is a bit odd. They do, however, in one specific case:

Should you ever find people driving in the opposite direction and flashing their brights at you, it’s a good idea to slow down, because it means there’s probably a police radar trap up ahead. It always seemed remarkable to me that people who are normally so ready to “elbow their way past you” would go out of their way to alert you to the presence of a speed trap. Perhaps the “hatred of a shared enemy” is great enough to cause a feeling of solidarity?

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