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Knights of the Vine RUSSIA


The Ten Commandments
Text Fred Flintstone

For those of you who do not follow the works of the Vatican, you might like to know that last year it published a “Drivers’ Ten Commandments of the Road” as part of its Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road. A lapsed Catholic himself, Fred learned of the Commandments from the blog of a BBC journalist in Tirana, who apparently sees some of the same driving habits that Fred finds in Bedrock.

The Guidelines themselves turned out to be an interesting read, with topics like “The Word of God Illuminates the Road” with the subheading “Signs from the Old Testament.” The sections titled “Escape from everyday reality and the pleasure of driving” or “the domination instinct” should particularly interest Bedrock readers.

Though a little light may be made of this document, the Guidelines do provide a view of the problems of transport in a modern society and the social contract that is necessary to provide orderly and safe passage for motorists and pedestrians. For Fred, life on the road in Bedrock has shown a clear contrast between the results on the road with the basically virtuous drivers in modern developed societies, and a society like Bedrock (or, I guess, Tirana) where such virtues are seriously deficient. For instance, it is unimaginable that the four-way stop, common in the United States, would work in Bedrock. For those unfamiliar with this concept, the four-way stop is an intersection with a stop sign at each entrance to the intersection. If more than one vehicle approaches the intersection at the same time, the vehicle to the right crosses first. In Bedrock, it would be unusual for a vehicle to even stop, unless a gai-ishnik, or Russian traffic cop, was posted on the road.

Putting aside religious arguments about morality, life without any moral compass means that a motorist does not care or need to care about the mayhem and chaos he (or, increasingly, she in Bedrock) leaves behind. What is important is that the motorist get to his goal first and let no other get in the way. The driver never meets nor will he ever again see those he offends. Fred has often commented that the only reasons some Bedrock drivers would not run over a pedestrian would be bureaucratic inconvenience if caught, and damage to the car if not.

Despite the fact that this is an Orthodox country, Fred lists the Vatican’s Drivers’ Ten Commandments. Any experienced Bedrock motorist will quickly realize that, with the exception of the first, the other nine pose serious problems:

  1. You shall not kill.
  2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
  3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
  4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
  5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
  6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
  7. Support the families of accident victims.
  8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
  9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party. 10. Feel responsible toward others.

Fred would be satisfied if Bedrock drivers would follow the Flintstone Ten Commandments:

  • Thou shalt not terrify your passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists.
  • Thou shalt not tailgate.
  • Thou shalt provide passage to merging vehicles.
  • Thou shalt drive between the white lines.
  • Thou shalt slow down on a yellow light and stop before the red.
  • Thou shalt yield to pedestrians in a “zebra” crossing.
  • Thou shalt not drive into the oncoming traffic lanes.
  • Thou shalt not pass on the right side.
  • Thou shalt not drive in the blind spot.
  • Thou shalt not drive on the sidewalk.

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