Traffic laws are not optional | Letter

Motorists intentionally ignoring traffic signals and stop signs represents a dangerous trend.

When did the law change to make stopping at red lights and stop signs optional? I have been driving on Washington’s roads since 1960 and over the past several years I have observed motorists of all ages, genders and ethnicities increasingly treating red lights and stop signs as an inconvenience. This practice has become so commonplace that it seems to suggest a mindset that, “(I)t’s acceptable if I can make it through the intersection.”

The increasing proclivity of motorists to intentionally ignore traffic signals and stop signs, coupled with a complete disregard for their safety and that of their fellow motorists, represents a dangerous trend and one that suggests a “tolerance policy” on the part of law enforcement. I recognize that our dedicated law enforcement officers cannot be stationed at every intersection and with limited resources, must prioritize their efforts to focus on more serious matters. However, I have come to the conclusion that the only remedy for this complete and utter disregard for the law lies in deterrence through increased enforcement.

One morning, I witnessed a King County Metro bus driver run through a red light in Redmond while making a right turn, forcing the operator of a vehicle approaching from his left to brake to avoid a collision. I recognize that operators of public transit vehicles enjoy special considerations; however, failure to stop at a red light prior to taking a right turn on red shouldn’t be one of them. We should especially be able to expect our “professional” drivers to drive in a professional and responsible manner. (This is not the first instance I have observed of a King County Metro bus running a red light — only the most flagrant.) Running red lights to maintain a schedule just doesn’t cut it and should not be tolerated.

I have been reluctant to lay this in the lap of law enforcement; however, this was the last straw and prompted me to finally sit down and write this letter. Asking the motoring public politely to be more considerate will clearly have no effect.

Mike Main,

Kirkland

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