Publisher's Notebook: Rules of the road

| August 07, 2007

By John Randle
Publisher
jrandle@rrpub.com

True knights of the highway follow a code of ethics tougher than any man-made laws. In fact, truckers often are first on the scene of an accident, first to alert police to reckless four-wheel drivers and first to help their fellow truckers.

What truckers fear more than inclement weather or bad roads are distracted, cell-phone-gabbing, road raging, four-wheel drivers in a hurry to get nowhere. Recently the Vatican released “10 Rules of the Road,” which have created a stir among truckers who would like to see a few less sinners and a few more saints sharing their roads.

The rules are included in “Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road,” published by the Roman Catholic Church’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People – including truck drivers.

Here’s a list of the “10 commandments” for the road:

  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.

The document encourages drivers to be respectful, courteous, obey the law and even add some prayers from the driver’s seat. Some activities to avoid include road rage, reckless driving and prostitution.

Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, president of the Pontifical Council, says the Church’s mission is the pastoral care of travelers.

No matter what religious or spiritual road map you follow, these are good guidelines for all drivers out there.

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