A few nights ago I was driving home stopped at a intersection. The street has two lanes so there was an SUV next to me. The light turned green and the car behind the SUV immediately honks at it to get a move on. I take off while shaking my head because it seems to be an epidemic these days with impatient people honking at the lead car as soon as the lights change.
As I look in the rear-view mirror I smiled because I saw the SUV playing the petty games: it purposely continued to go in order to piss off the honking driver even more. Even when it finally took off the SUV went at a slower pace than other traffic. The honker was also boxed in by the faster moving cars on my lane, unable to skip out of the mess.
Karma is so sweet.
I personally would never play the petty games because this is America and you have no idea who has got a gun. I live in not exactly the finest of neighborhoods so it is best to be avoided. If I'm at the head of the line at an intersection I treat the lights like the starting grid of a Formula One race: as soon as the lights turn I am off.
Not everyone needs to be like me and treat traffic lights like a racing driver, but I think if you are the first car in line then you have an obligation to move as quickly as possible. Likewise, those queued behind should exercise more patience because not everyone or every car is capable of moving off the line so fast.
That said I do enjoy watching other people play the petty games.