A few months ago, I wrote a column entitled “Rude on the Road,” and in it I talked about things we do behind the wheels of our vehicles, and we selfishly fail to consider the effects on others. Something seems to happen to us when we get behind a steering wheel. As drivers, we take on different personalities, and our conduct does not reflect the same manners we display face to face.
For example, when four drivers come to a four-way stop, I often see them stopping (or coming to a “rolling stop”) and then proceeding, regardless of whose turn it may be. If the same four people happened to come to a door or a grocery line at the same time, it is probable that each person would display some manners, and allow the person who arrived before him/her to proceed first.
This week, I attended a meeting for local businesses that was similar to our neighborhood watch meetings, only it was for businesses. In this meeting, we talked about concerns we have with safety and particular problems that have happened in which law enforcement has helped, or can be helpful. One of the concerns discussed was drivers not observing traffic laws, particularly near schools.
As we discussed our concerns, law enforcement officers took notes, and they intend to focus on these issues. One business owner took a video of what was happening at a school zone near his business. Drivers were speeding past, and not stopping at the stop signs. (I am intentionally not letting you now which school zone he was recording, because it doesn’t matter which one it is.) Stop means STOP, not slow down. The police officers who were present at the meeting will be patrolling that school zone for sure. They know there are violators there, and they will be giving tickets to the speeders and the non-stoppers. So, beware!
It occurred to me that perhaps we are too traditional in our messages to drivers. Has the red octagon stop sign become too archaic? People don’t appreciate tradition any more. Maybe stop signs should be trapezoid shaped, or maybe three dimensional. I think iridescent pink or bright purple would be more noticeable. Maybe they need to be bigger. Something tells me that maybe drivers have trouble knowing how to read. Should we have action pictures on the signs instead of the word STOP? I do think that law enforcement may be open to some suggestions on how to make people be more courteous drivers and obey the laws, aka the Rules of the Road.
Let me leave you with one very important thought (warning). If you value the money in your wallet at all, it would behoove you to stop at those STOP signs in the school zones. The boys and girls in blue will be watching you.
— My love to all,
• • •
“Your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.”
— James 4:11