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Dear Santa,

I have not been a nice person. Let’s get that out of the way. Nor have I been naughty – more obnoxious. If I were an all-day breakfast I’d be “Obnoxious, with self-centered home fries, neurotic sausages, a self-righteous omelette and one of those dried-up old slices of orange.” This doesn’t mean, however, that I do not want or deserve lots of presents.

When it comes to driving, there is a lot of room for the gifts of growth and improvement. In the interests of efficiency and maximum gift-receiving, I have compiled a numerical list.

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  1. My wife doesn’t like the fact that it gets dark in the fall and winter months and also, that in 2020, there has been “nowhere to ‘bleeping’ go.” I don’t think this will fit down the chimney, but please get to work on this.
  2. I would like the theme song from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to be broadcast along empty bike lanes during the winter months. We’ve been told that bike lanes would be jammed all year long. If we built them, they would ride along them in droves. A casual survey in recent frosty weeks shows the opposite to be true. Bike lanes are empty, emptier than a donut’s hole. Sergio Leone’s famous song, a musical allusion to the howl of a coyote, would be the perfect motif for these empty stretches of well-meaning road. Its signature melody will give deserted bike lanes a dramatic flair. Perhaps you could arrange to have tumbleweeds drift where bikes were meant to be.
  3. I had a reader e-mail to ask me “Why can’t we have signs on our highways that indicate what speed drivers should maintain in each lane?” For instance, 90 km/h in the right lane, 100 km/h in the middle lane and 110 km/h in the left lane. He’d seen these in the United Kingdom on the M25. These would make a nice Christmas present. Such signs would decrease lane-change frequency and therefore reduce collisions.
  4. Another reader wrote to say that ten per cent of the vehicles he sees on the road have only one working headlight. Given how technologically advanced cars are now, isn’t there a way for them to alert the driver that the left or right headlight is out (rather than a generic lights out signal)? Could cars be designed to compel drivers to fix broken headlights rather than letting them motor around with one headlight?
  5. Is there anything you can do about crosswalks? Should we change the colour of the light? Festive red rather than ignoble yellow?
  6. It’s Christmas and that can mean only one thing – drunk driving. Santa, is there anything you can do? We’ve made enormous strides eliminating drunk driving and yet, people still do it. Every day there is a new horrifying example in the news. Last week, a drunk driver hit two cars, launched his vehicle airborne and landed on another two parked cars. Mercifully, it was a pre-Christmas miracle – no one was killed. Look, Saint Nick, I’m at a loss. How many more ways and times do we need to tell people that drunk driving kills? How many more Marco Muzzos are in the making? There seems to be no answer. I’ll leave it to you – a plump, grey-haired dude stuffed into a red suit who lives in the Arctic and uses reindeer as forced labour – to find a solution.
  7. When someone decorates their car with sports team memorabilia, can you arrange for it to fall off?
  8. A 1971 Chevelle. Mint condition. In my driveway Christmas morning with a full tank of gas.
  9. Or an orange Porsche – any year or make, so long as it’s orange.
  10. Stop people driving slowly in the passing lane.

And that’s it.

That’s all I want, Santa. You’ve got a few days – better get on it.

With all best wishes,

Road Sage.

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