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Like Casper coming out of a fog bank
July 9, 2013 - Steve Murch
Right now, one of the big issues in Alpena is safety at the first entrance/exit at Walmart on M-32. There were two accidents recently, and when they happen they seem to come in clusters. There will be two or three and then quite a break when there won't be any, only to be followed by two or three in short order.
While one part of the issue is whether a light is need there, one that goes nearly ignored is poor driving behavior and lack of foresight. If people want to make sure they don't have to tangle with traffic, go to the light up by McDonald's, which falls into the foresight category — think ahead.
However, the real issue is not paying attention and a lot of bad drivers. They might not all fall into the Walmart category, but go a long way in explaining why we seem to have a lot awful drivers in the area.
Some examples: Why do so many people have to make a sweep into the next lane just to make a right hand turn? Don't tell me it's the size of the vehicle because semis make the same size sweep and they are a good 20-plus feet longer. There is no need for that sweep.
Why do people believe they can drive down the left turn lane? That is not a transitional lane, nor is it to be used to approach a turn from a quarter-mile away. There are people who will pull into the lane and wait for traffic to pass so they can pull into traffic — completely illegal. Not to mention, it can become unnerving for drivers who are at speed wondering if the driver in the turn lane is going to merge in front of them.
But what the real impetus for this rant is all the really out-to-lunch drivers this morning who didn't drive with their lights on even though there was heavy fog and low visibility. And who were the worst offenders? People in ghost white vehicles that suddenly emerged less than 100 yards away. Talk about lack of foresight, paying attention and being a bad driver — those people were all three rolled into one.
It's not about whether you can see ahead of you, it's about people being able to see you. Just like the morons in dark vehicles who don't turn their headlights on at dusk.
So yes, the issue at Walmart needs to be addressed and changes likely are needed. But take a long look around you at the driving behavior of other people behind the wheel and see if perhaps they might be an issue. And take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are the best driver you can be. We all can get better.
Our first priority on the road is safely getting from point A to point B, and making sure the road is safe for everyone.
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