Enforcement is the only solution

Recently, I saw another contribution to the traffic carnage wrought by local drivers (“Police get busy ticketing speeders,” Jan. 28) as I approached the intersection of Glendale Avenue and Glenoaks Boulevard. A large sedan was stopped in the middle of the intersection. The driver was out of his car, kneeling beside the body of a person he apparently struck on his way through the intersection. He was talking on a cell phone. The pedestrian did not move. I couldn’t tell if the body was that of a man, a woman or a child.

I slowed to a stop and activated my flashing lights to signal the danger ahead. A city truck was behind me. The driver did the same and got out to render aid. I decided to pull out of the way and began moving to the far right around the accident. I heard sirens coming, and I made a turn to reach my home nearby, tailgated part of the way by an infuriated woman who felt I drove too slowly.

Three factors appear to account for traffic offenses and accidents: lots of large, fast cars and trucks; the omnipresent cell phone; and the arrogant sense of entitlement displayed by drivers who break laws, do damage and kill people.

Eventually, there will be fewer big vehicles on the road because they are too costly and inefficient to survive economic realities. The cell phone perhaps will evolve to something more, or less, than a multimedia toy. Stiff regulation limits the harm done by drivers who use them at a risk to themselves and others.

Educating people through advertisements and traffic school is helpful if they want to be good drivers. But people afflicted by a sense of entitlement are irresponsible. Arrogance and irresponsibility give way before force majeure by the truly entitled — a Glendale police officer who enforces the rules of the road.

The only way to promote responsibility and caution in Glendale drivers is to enforce traffic laws rigorously and punish the motorists who break them.

If it means putting every officer on the police force at major thoroughfares for six months to ticket and jail reckless drivers, it may be worth what it will cost to stamp out that deadly entitlement factor.



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