To the editor:
I lived in Houston for two and a half years and, trust me, I know bad drivers. But in the 27 years I have lived in Blue Springs, I have seen some of the worst drivers I have ever seen.
On Jan. 9, I became the victim of one of those drivers. While driving down a residential street where the speed limit was 25 mph, which was what I was doing (or less), I was T-boned by a driver not observing the speed limit. This driver actually swerved around a car that was stopped at the stop sign and struck the car I was driving. Thank God I was not seriously injured, or worse. I am also grateful that the other driver and his passengers were not seriously injured.
Since my job requires driving around town, I have been observing the deterioration of the drivers in Eastern Jackson County. Posted speed limits mean virtually nothing. I drive on Missouri 7 to work. Regardless of what area I am driving in, I get passed by most cars, even when I’m doing the posted speed limit.
Stop signs, at best, are slow down and go. I see very few drivers actually stop. Traffic lights are a scary area. Yellow lights no longer mean slow down and prepare to stop. Yellow lights mean speed up; the light isn’t red. It’s the rare day that I don’t see at least two or three red lights run, and sometimes by multiple cars. If I’m waiting for a light to turn green, I don’t dare move when it does turn green until checking both directions. I have been sitting at too many lights that turn green and watched a car pass in front of me. To make matters worse, sometimes one of the cars waiting for the light to turn is a police car or sheriff’s car, and they do nothing! I was absolutely shocked the first time that happened.
I don’t know why these things happen. Could it be ignorance of the traffic laws? Maybe it’s because driver education was taken out of the schools and isn’t even required to get a license. Maybe it’s just bad manners or the attitude of “my time is more valuable than yours, so get out of my way.” Do these people have any idea how dangerous they make the streets? What gives them the right to put my life, or any other driver’s life, in jeopardy? And, if there is no consequence for these actions, why should these drivers change their ways?
Those of us who take driving seriously – who drive cautiously and responsibly, who realize driving is a privilege and not a right – want to be safe on our streets. The question is: What can be done to make this happen?
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