"Do You Observe The Law?"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I know I have addressed this subject in the past but I feel the need to review and repeat it. As you read, ask yourself, “Could this be me?”

The art of operating a vehicle is more than passing a test to obtain a license and buying a plate to install on the back of a car. If you get an answer or two wrong on the drivers test, the result will not be denial of a license. In fact, when did you ever hear of anyone being refused the opportunity to drive?

As I see it, times for refusal come after court action that happens when a person displays a lack of ability or a failure to follow the traffic laws.

Many drivers operate a vehicle in a careless manner and believe it must be OK because they have not been ticketed or even pulled over. They assume if there is a law they are breaking, it must not apply to them.

Other careless driving activities may actually not be controlled by laws. They have simply been left out of the law books because they should be governed by common sense.

I drive a few thousand miles a year under various conditions; from remote side roads to five lane expressways with heavy traffic. No matter where I drive, however, it appears to me there are too many drivers that act as if they are privileged and don’t have to follow the laws the rest of us observe while driving. Some drivers unfortunately have or use no common sense. Then there are those who drive as if they OWN the road and no one else should be using it.

One offensive action, (although perhaps not governed by law) I encounter frequently is vehicles approaching from the rear of my car at a high rate of speed. Even though they can observe approaching traffic, they run right up close to the car ahead, as close as a few feet, before they reduce their speed. They are usually exceeding the posted speed limit. If the car ahead should have to brake unexpectedly, the car behind will not be able to stop. There is a reason during driver test they suggest maintaining five car lengths between vehicles.

Too many drivers are heading down the highway using cell phones or other devices which have been proven to contribute to serious accidents. Many cites and states have declared it illegal to use a cell phone while operating a vehicle but the laws are ignored and abuses continue.

I observed a driver in a parking lot un-hook a car seat to provide more room for packages. The child that had been in the car seat was just set on the back seat with the packages.

The laws regarding child restraints have absolutely been proven to save lives but that appears to be of little concern to some drivers. Innocent children, not yet of an age to know what to do or how to avoid being injured, are put at risk. No matter how short the distance a child will travel, child restraints should be applied.

Another frequent violation is vehicles that pass over a double yellow line. When I mentioned it to a driver I observed doing it the response was, “I didn’t see anything coming.” I responded, “Isn’t that why the line is there, to advise you the distance of visibility is limited and therefore unsafe to pass in.”

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems even though there are many more vehicles traveling the roads today, fewer drivers are cautious behind the wheel and many more exceed posted limits. They pass on both sides while swerving in and out of lanes.

THIS WEEK THE YELLOW SCHOOL BUSES HIT THE ROADS. Be sure you know and observe the laws governing encounters with a school bus. We all need to use extra caution because small children often run into the road to meet the bus.




Return to Home Page of Tipsforboating.com


Copyright © Fred Davis. All rights reserved.