Through 11 years of writing a traffic-related column, I’ve read many a response to something I’ve been able to get into print. Sometimes it’s a criticism, sometimes it’s praise, and sometimes it’s just a comment, taking the topic a step farther.
When a reader makes an exceptional point, I want them to get credit for it. And if what they write is food for thought for others, let’s get it out there.
Here’s one by a reader named Robert, relating to my column this week on some poor driving habits, and on an accident in which a truck driver nearly rode his rig over a wall when, the trucker says, he was cut off by another vehicle:
“On Monday, ‘Jack’ wrote about near misses on I-35. Then, on Tuesday, I read about the trucker that said he was cut off by a driver and ended up hanging over the barrier on the interstate.
“I agree with Jack about drivers in Oklahoma. They don’t use their signals, or not in a manner that is useful (turns on a turn signal after a turn has begun).
“The other is the risky maneuvers a lot of drivers take when driving. I have observed this in the multiple lane changes people make on northbound I-35 between SE 82 and the I-240 interchange. As you know, I-35 becomes four lanes between SE 82 and I-240, with the fourth lane actually being a nice long entrance ramp from SE 82 and becoming the exit ramp onto I-240.
“For years, I drove this northbound route and would exit at SE 66 … (N)early every day, I would see drivers use the inside ‘fast’ lanes and … cut across two or three lanes after they went under the 82nd Street bridge to barely make it onto the I-240 ramp, which would cause near panic stops for the trailing traffic. This would cause an accordion effect that would continue back beyond SE 82nd and back to the N 27th St bridge in Moore and often causes rear-end collisions.
“This isn’t necessarily road rage but looks like people trying to ‘out guess’ or ‘beat’ the slower exiting traffic. This just makes things worse for all lanes of traffic that they cut across as people brake to avoid this maneuver.
“If these people are in a hurry or late, they should leave home earlier. But, since you can’t make people adjust their schedules, they should have their bank accounts adjusted. The police (motorcycle officer) could sit on the east side of the divider at the 240 off-ramp and … watch these people make these wild lane changes, which I presume are illegal, and ticket them for that and not using a turn signal.
“He (the officer) wouldn’t be seen because of the SE 82 bridge until it was too late. I’ve seen them there before, giving out speeding tickets for the northbound I-35 traffic.
“I am not trying to point out the southside drivers more than other areas of the city, but it is where I drive the most. I have seen this behavior on all sides of the city, such as the I-40/I-44 interchanges, I-44/I-235 interchange, I-40/I-35 interchange.
“From the account from the trucker. it sounds as though this behavior is what caused his accident. Maybe the police and (highway patrol) troopers should take this as a message to be more aware of this driver behavior and take some actions to reduce it and/or to make the public more aware of it and the consequences.”
Thanks for the note, Robert. And thanks to all who correspond with me, or converse with me, about driving or transportation issues.
You can see my Traffic Talk column by going to any of our online communities at http://knowit.newsok.com each week.