You gotta hand it to the Vatican. They have introduced a whole new series of commandments for the 21st century, another list of guilt-inducing, sin-producing actions. And not before time too.
The ten commandments for motorists, as listed by the document Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road, are:
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 neighbour 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.
Now, I would have thought that number 1 was already covered by the existing commandments, but you can’t have too much of a good thing I suppose. Number two emphasises, again, don’t go around killing people! As for courtesy, uprightness and prudence helping you swerve to avoid hitting people, or other unforseen events, I prefer to think that alertness, quick action, and sensible speed are more practical. But if you are going to hit someone, do make it courteous. And it would be prudent not to, if you can.
They should have ended number 4 with an admonition to be charitable to your victims. Going around being charitable to all victims would be a cause of bankruptcy before long. As for number five, well, I cannot think of any “occasion of sin” to be had in a car, can you?! Certainly not while driving!
Now, six is tricky. Try explaining to a drunk person (particularly, say, an Irish minister under the influence) to not drive, well,….there’d be little charitable about their reply to you. As for number 7, feck off! What am I, an insurance company? Now number 8, that’s a laugh! Are they trying to start a riot or something?
However, I cannot agree more with number 9. I am always the most vulnerable, everybody else can just feck off. And, yes, I feel responsible for others, I just choose not to act that way.
Can I suggest another top-ten list?
1. You shall not kill, unless they’re a protestant.
2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of dropping the kids off to school.
3. Leaving the car at home will guarantee you can deal with unforeseen events.
4. Be charitable and always let pedestrians have right of way, unless they are protestants (see 1 above).
5. Cars are great for occasions of sin, but stop moving first.
6. Convincing anybody not to drive when drunk is suicidal. Don’t do it.
7. Support the families of accident victims, especially your victims.
8. Bring guilty motorists to court so that they can undergo the liberating experience of being fleeced by the insurance industry.
9. On the road, project power! Never give way, always honk that horn, and answer your mobile whenever you feel like it.
10. Feel proud of that SUV and let others know what a tit you really are.