A message from Montgomery City Police Chief Phil Ahern - The Chief's pet peeves
May 15, 2012 - 11:53am — J. Noedel-Publisher
Almost everybody had pet peeves. I was thinking of a few of mine with regard to traffic, and then remembered I did a column on my pet peeves some time ago. I looked up the old column to see if anything had changed; nothing much had. So, instead of reinventing the wheel, they’re coming at you again. And thanks again for your indulgence.
Directing Traffic from the Car – Some folks try to be too courteous. They’ll stop in the middle of the road to let another driver onto the street. Don’t get me wrong, I like courtesy and we all should be courteous drivers, but most times drivers should let traffic flow. If you have the right-of-way, take it and use it. Stopping when you don’t need to can create a traffic backup and increase the likelihood of crashes. Being overly courteous to a neighbor in a residential neighborhood is one thing, but obey the rules on busy thoroughfares. It also adds to the frustration of already impatient drivers; which brings me to another:
Impatient Drivers – Impatient drivers can be identified by such things as following too closely (when you’re driving the speed limit, but the limit doesn’t seem to be fast enough for the driver behind you) and drivers passing you on the right as you’re stopped waiting to turn left when there’s no lane for such movement. We’re not in St. Louis or St. Charles County, so our traffic jams don’t last very long, and it’s really not a big deal to sit in traffic for a little while, like after school. The traffic tie-up usually fixes itself in a minute or so and a minute or less wait is a good trade-off against a ticket and one or two court appearances.
Rolling Stops – A rolling stop is an oxymoron. If you’re rolling, you’re not stopped and vice-versa. Stop means stop, wheels still, no movement.
Turn Signals – Actually the non-use of turn signals. Automakers spend a lot of research and development money on turn signals and you, in turn, spend your money for the car which has the signals attached. Turn signals ought to be used. Besides, it’s the law. Signals are required to be used every time a driver changes from a direct course, which translates to turning movements and lane changes. Use of signals is a mark of a courteous driver. Other drivers cannot read your mind, so signal your intention for drivers in front of and behind you.
Bicycles on the Wrong Side of the Street – Bicycles are to be ridden on the right-hand side of the street; with traffic not opposing traffic. Bicyclists are required by law to obey the same traffic rules as drivers of motor vehicles.
Turning Left to Park – Plan your trips to town or around town so you get on the correct side of the street. It’s not that hard to do and you don’t burn that much more gas. If someone turns left into a parking spot and is involved in or causes a crash, I can practically guarantee a ticket and subsequent foray into the legal system.
Parking in Yellow-Marked Zones – If you get out of the car and it’s nosed against a yellow-painted curb, get back in and move it to another space; even if you have to go around the block. The walk may be good for you. Enjoy it.
Headlights and Windshield Wipers – This is a new one. State law requires that headlights be switched on when the windshield wipers are on – even on delay. Parking lights or the first stop on the switch doesn’t count. If it’s raining enough for the wipers, turn on the headlights (if the lights are not automatic). The requirement is so you can be seen.
Activity for the period of April 23 through 29 included the disposition pf complaints of harassment, theft, burglary, offense against a child, and forgery. Officers issued 9 tickets for traffic-related offenses.
Importance to me: