Every Monday through Friday it takes me 10 minutes to get to work. Three miles, from Park Ave. in Buckley, to Wells Street in Enumclaw.
I begin with great care just coming out of our mobile home park, because of all the cars parked along Park Ave, right up to the entrance of the park. I cannot see cars coming from my right or left until I have crept very slowly out into the street. Yes, I have complained.
Next, I travel to the stop light to the intersection of 410 and Park Ave by Wally’s Drive in Diner. I dare not go immediately when the light turns green. Three out of five days a week a car or large truck will blow through the red light as though the laws do not apply to them. I would have died… in most instances. Stop lights mean nothing to some.
I can usually count on getting to work in 10 minutes. I’m always grateful to get there without injury.
On my way home at 5 p.m. is another story. Traffic is usually backed up three to four miles, bumper to bumper, stop and go, and the go is about five miles an hour. It takes me 25 to 35 or more minutes to get home.
Winter hours are the worst with blazing headlights searing through my rear window from a jacked-up truck, tailgating my bumper.
Of course cell-phone distracted driving laws do not seem to apply to these commuters. Looking in my rearview mirror I witness daily, people texting or talking on their phones. Two weeks ago the vehicle behind me held two teenage girls. Both driver and passenger had their heads tilted, while they ran their fingers through their hair, posed with pouty lips, while taking selfies of themselves. Yes, they each had a phone. It was like a selfie marathon. The driver made no attempt to hide her phone. All I could do was pump my breaks to get their attention so they wouldn’t rear end me. The selfie marathon went on from Enumclaw to the bridge over White River!
I am a very good driver. I do obey the laws. They are there to keep us safe, all of us. By the time I get home you can only imagine how I feel. I read that something like 18,000 vehicles travel this path daily. In a society filled with instant gratification, me, myself and I… I’d like to put out this message: Slow down. Don’t tailgate. Put your cell phone away. Pay attention. Think safety. Work together. Calm down. Please. We are all important. We all have families. We all have schedules. You are not exclusive. Laws apply to all of us to keep us all safe. I don’t care how big or jacked up your truck is, don’t make it an extension of your attitude.
Am I all alone in my feelings and observations? I hear improvements are on the way via smart traffic lights. We need smart drivers, too.