Archive for September, 2007

Don’t Stand in Traffic Part 2

Don’t Stand in Traffic Part 2

It’s not just police who are standing in traffic and causing what I believe are safety risks. The Fire Department is really getting under my skin. It’s long been a common practice for the local Fire Departments to raise funds by walking around cars at busy intersections when the traffic lights stop cars. They ask for donations to be placed in a boot and when the light turns green they usually hustle off to the corner and wait to hit the next light change.

Now, this is dangerous enough. We spend a lot of time instructing children to not play in traffic and to be wary of cars. We also tell them that the Fire Department are people dedicated to their safety and well being. I have always had a real big problem with the example this sets.

Well, this has now escalated to a level just beyond my belief. Not only has local Fire Departments taken to standing on the median (not the corner sidewalk) between light changes, they also commonly remain in traffic as cars begin to drive off, trying to snag that extra buck or to until the first wave of cars move through the intersection. Not only is this illegal, but for a group dedicate to safety, it is outrageous

But it doesn’t stop there. Recently, on more than one occasion I have seen these Fire Departments using their fire trucks to attract attention. How? By parking their engines on the median with the light signals rolling! How can this be allowed? Whoever agreed this would be okay to be done should be immediately dismissed. Those signals are meant to be used for emergencies, to signal people to move to the side of the road. Why in God’s name would you think it would be okay to implement these in a non emergency situation in the middle of a busy intersection?

Not only is this illegal and a terrible example to set for people, but it directly endangers lives. Would you find it acceptable for high school students to wander around the middle of a busy intersection during their car wash? How about elementary kids selling candy car door to car door? That’s the example you are seting. Stop it now!

Don’t Stand in Traffic Part 1

Allan Barahona is currently on trial for second-degree murder and vehicular homicide in a case involving an officer run over and killed while attempting a traffic stop. But I don’t want to discuss the points of that particular case. From what I read Barahona looks like he might have been trying to evade the traffic stop and was driving recklessly before hand, which is nothing new. I’ve talked plenty on the increasing amounts of dirtbags in Orlando and their lack of respect for the rule of law and the authority of law enforcement.

No, what concerns me is the ongoing incidents of officers getting run over or nearly missed because they take the insanely dangerous approach of stepping in front of speeding vehicles! I had to bold that statement because I hope that when you read the straight fact about what is happening that it sinks in. This should not be condoned. It puts the officer at risk and it puts the public at risk, and not just the accused speeder at which they wish to stop. How long before someone swerves into another lane to avoid the officer and smashes into a school bus or family and kills someone totally uninvolved in the traffic stop? I refuse to accept the the police bear no responsibility in what occurs when they decide to step in front of speeding vehicles!

In a recent WFTV article Sheriff Kevin Beary is quoted:

“They’re having to jump out of the way. Nobody wants to stop. They’ll ride over the curb. They’ll do everything they can,”

Sgt. Armando Socarras of the Orlando police is also quoted in the same article:

“There are a lot of drivers on cell phones not paying attention, radios, all kinds of distractions,”

Yes, yes there are. Which is exactly why you should not stand in front of speeding vehicles! This is just too dangerous a practice to continue. It’s dangerous for the officer, dangerous for the driver and ultimately dangerous for anyone on the road. If a speeding driver fails to stop when you wave them over, then you get the description and license if you can, call it in and have a patrol car follow up. It is just flat out not acceptable and needs to stop.

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