Salt Lake drivers • If you've ever tried to merge onto crowded Interstate 15 or change lanes to approach an exit, if you've been forced to slam on your brakes as another driver decides to turn left from the right lane, you may not be surprised that Salt Lake-area drivers are not ranked among the nation's best. But what might surprise you is that, apparently, motorists in the capital city and its suburbs are improving their driving habits. Allstate America's Best Drivers Report for last year says that, after five years of worsening safety records, Salt Lake drivers improved from No. 98 among 200 cities to No. 72. The study is based on how often a driver is involved in an accident. Now if we could just get drivers of all ages to turn off their cellphones, we would really be safer.
Profanity wins • Letting fly with a naughty word or two in public won't get you fined or land you in jail, Ogden officials have decided. They're right to back off. Ogden Public Services Director Jay Lowder had asked the City Council to include profanity among behaviors prohibited under the city's disorderly conduct ordinance. He was rightly concerned over outbursts at city-sponsored sports events that escalate to violence against players, referees, umpires and city workers. But such free-wheeling speech is likely protected as free speech by the constitution. Although the motivation was sincere, trying to enforce such an ordinance likely would have caused more violence than it prevented if irate fans were slapped with citations for cussing. It was a well-meaning attempt, but legislating civility is just not workable.