The State of California Department of Motor Vehicles was kind enough to send me a (warning) care letter. They are worried that my driving skills or maybe habits could ultimately lead to my death. So well written is this pulp-based, Highway Runs Red intervention that I just had to share it, get it out in the open. While I think the intentions are good it’s hard to feel any real sincerity through the prose set in all-caps. I feel like I just got a letter from WOPR, who apparently was put to work in the DMV after it was obvious a sequel to War Games was out of question.
Here for you are the contents of said letter. So as to preserve the feeling of the original document I have kept the words of WOPR in uppercase and included my response.
Dear California Driver,
Um, what happens if you break traffic law in California but don’t live here? Is the letter addressed To Whom Drove In Our State or Dear Fellow Citizen of the Republic or maybe it’s a simple Dear Other.
Drivers with crashes and traffic convictions on their records are at a greater risk of those causing future crashes.
Notice that I may not be at risk to cause another traffic conviction but my next infringement is going to be not one but many, plural, crashes. I’d like to know if my next incident will be a multi-car collision or an all day rampage where-in I smash into vehicles throughout the day. I’m sure they have statistics on and I’m surprised they don’t provide more insight.
Your recent record of bad driving places you at increased risk of causing crashes, injury and death. We do not want you to suffer consequences and want to help you avoid them.
Read: You. Are. Going To. Diiieee. Notice there is not one mention of how they want to help me avoid this consequence, just that they want to help, how almost-Samaritan. At least throw in a coupon for the Betty Ford clinic or a (hint, hint) bus pass.
We understand that you may believe you are a good driver, and yet your driving record is much worse than the average California driver.
You may look in the mirror and think you are Michael Knight but really you are Ricky Bobby while most of California drives like Hoke Colburn.
While you may be a good and safe driver most of the time, your record reflects at least momentary lapses in driving judgement. At highway speeds, a moment of carelessness can become a tragedy. Good, caring people who make careless decisions while driving can cause injury or death.
Good, caring people who have momentary lapses in judgement, while thinking they are safe drivers, are really loaded guns of death.
In effort to urge you to drive safer, we are offering you a choice. You can choose to prevent further action from DMV by avoiding additional traffic convictions and by not causing any crashes.
Dammit, I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. I avoid traffic convictions, I don’t want anything to do with them, but they keep finding me. And just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!
However, if you choose to continue your unsafe driving, the penalties will increase and eventually lead to probation, suspension or revocation of your driving privilege.
Not if I can get to Mexico first Roscoe! At 140 MPH
I can be there in one hour, yeeehooo!
We believe you are capable of making a change to become a safer driver, but it is up to you to do so.
Are they serious? Dude, I’m not about to bend to the will of the man, man! Like the greeting says I’m a California driver, I’m not responsible for my actions, everyone else is. If I get into another incident it’s clearly going to be the fault of other drivers, Volkswagen, CalTrans, Goodyear, the weather, Starbucks, Motorola, Reef, FOX
News, President Bush (all of whom have either made products that do not respond like they are advertised to be or have emotionally upset me so as to cause me to drive dangerously, I had a happy childhood so I know it’s not going to be my parents fault).
If you do not want to change, your driving will continue to present a risk to yourself and other road users. If you want to change and become a safer, more responsible driver, you can.
Read: If you continue working on the side of evil many, many people are going to diiieee… but if you believe in yourself then look in a mirror and say, “I deserve good things, I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with.”
We hope that you will decide to change, but the choice is yours.
I think Aunty Entity sang it best: “We don’t need another hero. We don’t need to know the way home. All we want is life beyond the thunderdome.”