Editorial on traffic laws

I wrote the following editorial on traffic laws: post can be found here: Traffic laws

It became apparent today as I crossed the street (and almost got hit because the person turned left when I had the walking light without looking)…that now we all have to WALK defensively.

My words below:

It’s not unusual in Emporia and other areas these days to see motorists breaking traffic laws — the light turns red and cars keep going and many motorists have forgotten entirely what a blinker is.
It’s now critical for drivers who have a light that just turned green or the right of way to look several times to make sure two or three cars aren’t running the red light.
It’s commonplace to be behind a driver who doesn’t use their blinker when turning — worse they decide to turn abruptly in heavy traffic.
Drivers passing on curves on two-lane roads is becoming more common.
Many drivers don’t even bother to look for pedestrians in crosswalks — or try to share the road with bicycles and motorcycles.
With summer approaching, kids are out of school and many events are taking off — safety is crucial any time of the year — but even more in the summer. This weekend, the Dirty Kanza 200 will be held. There will be more pedestrians, bicyclists — and yes more distracted drivers — out and about.
So, here is are a few reminders for drivers:
  • First and foremost, traffic laws exist for safety — not to annoy drivers.
  • Blinkers exist to let drivers around you know you’re turning (so use them; they’re on the steering column).
  • Red lights and stop signs mean stop (not “start tearing on past”).
  • You must share the road with bicyclists and motorcyclists (they have just as much right to be there as passenger vehicles).
  • Crosswalks exist so pedestrians can safely cross the street — and you must yield to them.
  • Seatbelt usage is the law.
  • A solid, double line on the road means it is not safe to pass (so just don’t do it, the life you save could be your own).
  • Texting while driving is dangerous and even deadly — and against the law.
  • Driving while intoxicated is a deadly combination — and is against the law.
  • Traffic laws aren’t jokes. There is no destination that is so important that you risk your life or the life of someone else because you had to run that red light, or send that text, or fail to yield, or get into that vehicle intoxicated.
  • Share the road. Obey traffic laws. Also drive defensively. Because no matter how careful you are, another driver may not be.

Let’s all arrive where we’re going this summer safely — and do it for the sake of others too. The person you injure — or worse, kill — could be your own family member, friend or neighbor. Even if the person is a perfect stranger, they are somebody’s family member, friend or neighbor.
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