"More Traffic, More Enforcement"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, March 11, 2017

Not all of us see the same way. I'm not saying all of us need to see 20–20, we just don't all have the same understanding of what we see.

For example, many of us regard traffic signs differently. We see the 55 mph speed sign but also see traffic moving faster than that speed. Even though 55 is the posted limit, we elect to drive above that speed.

Many drivers believe 5 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit is safe and enforcement will overlook it. If they get pulled over and it is determined they were driving over the posted speed, they argue all the other drivers were driving that speed. The enforcement officer explains, you were the driver chosen to pull over, and you were driving above the speed limit. It's usually best to accept your ticket and learn 55 (or any other posted speed) does not mean 55 plus, it means 55 maximum.

Drivers often disregard other traffic controls such as stop signs. The sign does not say: roll through the intersection, it says stop. Serious accidents are often caused because people think they can ignore stop signs.

New laws regarding cell phone use, including texting, are now in place throughout the country. Because they are not always posted, and don't apply in every state, many people are not obeying them. In heavy traffic, rear end collisions are caused by drivers ignoring these laws. Enforcement officers have been given broader authority under the new cell phone laws.

If you are involved in an accident and an officer believes you were using your cell phone, they can make you give them your phone. If you were using it, with just a push of a button, the call times can be established. The result will be a determination of cause of the accident and additional fines levied. You may also have the phone confiscated.

Why is it drivers don't recognize the new laws regarding cell phone use are being established to save lives? Traffic death studies have determined the need for the laws, yet drivers refuse to obey them.

You may think the laws do not apply in the area you usually drive. As you travel about, you likely will pass into an area that may have adopted strict cell phone laws. As I see it, it would be wise to check for new laws if you plan to visit an area you have traveled in the past that may have updated their cell use laws.

Why all the new traffic laws and enforcement? They are needed to control the flow of traffic and save lives. If you approach an area you have driven through in the past during high traffic rush hour, the experience will be entirely different. Drivers, anxious to get home after a long day of work, can display their anxiety in various ways. Many blow their horns at the least provocation. Some flash their lights and, although it is illegal, it is common practice to pass on the right. It is important to remain calm if caught up in a crush of traffic, no matter how irritating other drivers become. If a vehicle nudges you from behind, attempt to get to the side of the road and set your emergency brake. Put on your four-way flashers and lock all doors and windows. Be very wary of another vehicle pulling off behind you. An emergency or police vehicle will arrive and ask for a description and license number of the car that hit you. Try to provide what the driver looked like. It has become a common practice on many busy highways to try a tap-and-run maneuver to get a person out of their vehicle. As a driver gets out and goes to the rear of their vehicle to check for damage, a person who pulled off behind them may have a second person jump in your car and drive it away. If your car becomes disabled for any reason, once you make it to the side of the road call for assistance and stay in the vehicle with doors and windows locked.

What I have related sounds extreme, but it is a reality and an example of the way our society has changed and become dangerous for those unaware.

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