Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Vatican issues Ten Commandments for Motorists

As reported in The Guardian UK and news outlets across the planet, on Tuesday, June 19th the Vatican issued a set of Ten Commandments for Motorists:

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.

I think this is great. Regardless of how you feel about the Vatican, about Catholicism, about organized religion in general, or about driving, it's hard not to see this as a Good Thing and certainly a step in the right direction. After acknowledging that yes, there does seem to be a problem with uncivil behavior on the part of motorists, these Commandments seem to be a reasonable list of actions and attitudes that, if adopted by all users of the road, would lead to much more civil behavior by users of transportation in the public realm.

My only concern is that enough people view these Commandments, and take them to heart, regardless of their religious affiliation. Does this need to turn into a petition, signed by the religious leadership of all the world's various denominations? Are there other ways that folks could take these ideas and run with them?


David L. Cooper said...

I beg to differ.

Number 1 is redundant with another famous list; I guess he just needed a topper. Numbers 3 and 10 are hardly motorist-specific; just good generic advice for children. Numbers 4,7 and 8 could have been rolled into one, and besides, they deal with the aftermath of bad motoring rather than the act itself. I flat-out disagree with number 5, as cars are always expressions of power, and I think he's talking about copulation in the back seat with "occasion of sin," which is both a non-sequiter and just plain prudish.

That leaves us with 6 (don't drive drunk, duh) 2 and 9, which are correct but vague, and should have been the underlying basis for a more useful list of commandments such as "Thou shalt use turn-signals, even for lane changes," or "Thou shalt either hang up or pull over, for thou sucketh at driving while talking."

Garlynn Woodsong said...


You're extremely correct with your analysis of the Vatican's Ten Commandments for Driving.

Would you care to summarize your comments to produce a David L Cooper's Ten Commandements for Driving? I see two already...