Ah, January. The time when our collective fancy turns to self-improvement for the coming year. In the spirit of New Year's resolutions...
Ah, January. The time when our collective fancy turns to self-improvement for the coming year. In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, we at On the Road want to know what you wish your fellow drivers, walkers, bus riders and bicyclists would resolve to do better in 2006.
Maybe you wish everyone would actually use a turn signal and have the guts to honk the horn when necessary. Or quit hogging two spaces in parking lots. Or get out of the left lane if not driving the speed limit. Or maybe that’s just me!
Please send your ideas to email@example.com, voice mail at 206-515-5618 or snail-mail them to The Seattle Times Eastside bureau, 1200 112th Ave. N.E., Suite C-145, Bellevue, WA 98004.
To get the ball rolling, we asked local traffic honchos what they think we all should resolve to do better to make our time on the road safer and saner in 2006.
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• Pay it forward
“If people would just do two courteous things and pass them on, think how courteous driving would be. Let someone in when you normally wouldn’t let them in, or let someone get over.
“When someone does something nice for you, make sure to do that same thing for two other people. If everyone would do that, we would have much friendlier highways, and we would have much less road rage for the next couple of years.”
Got ideas for fellow drivers?
Please send your New Year’s driving resolutions to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a voice mail at 206-515-5618 or mail your suggestions to The Seattle Times Eastside bureau, 1200 112th Ave. N.E., Suite C-145, Bellevue, WA, 98004.
— Officer Stacey Holland, Redmond Police Department
• Increase your following distance
“New Year’s resolutions need to be practical and reasonable, and increasing your following distance is really important, especially if you are speeding.
“The reason is not just stopping distance, but if you’re following at a further distance, you can see better further up the road to anticipate problems. The great majority of rear-end collisions can be avoided if the drivers can anticipate what’s coming up. Three cars up, all of a sudden you get three people who panic-brake, and then you plow into the last person who panic-braked.”
— Officer Michael Chiu, Bellevue Police Department
• Don’t drink and drive
“It’s not just a matter of how much you drink. It’s a matter of how much sleep you’ve had the night before, how much you’ve eaten that day and how much you weigh. That all factors in to how your body will metabolize alcohol. The easiest thing to do is take a cab, spend the night or have a sober, designated driver.”
— Trooper Kelly Spangler, Washington State Patrol
• Pay attention in construction zones
“You’re driving through someone’s office at 70 mph. People are out there. They’re exposed, and there’s nothing really between them and you.
“Those orange signs should really jar your brain into thinking, ‘There are people around. This is not routine.’ “
— Melanie Coon, Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman
• Buckle up!
“Make it to 2007. Wear your seat belt.”
— Sgt. John Urquhart, King County Sheriff’s Department
Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or email@example.com