Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Lights Out - Nov. 2, 2005
When a hurricane dismantles an infrastructure certain common sense rules should apply. Since they don't the state of Florida has made common sense a law, punishable by a $198.50 ticket and 4 points on your drivers license. That law is that if a traffic light is down or damaged, or simply not operational, the intersection should be treated as if it has a 4 way stop sign and the rules for a 4 way stop apply.
Apparently that rule only applies to others.
In Miami-Dade county many traffic lights have been restored, but in Broward County where Ft. Lauderdale is, they have not had practice with such things as hurricanes in recent years, the population is unable to understand that the rules also apply to them. Of 1100 traffic signals in Broward County that have been damaged or destroyed only 198 have been restored so far. Which means that over 900 intersections are without power and without traffic signals.
So, people blow through intersections paying no heed to the "rule of the 4 way stop" and then they get annoyed when someone t-bones their car! Imagine that?
I guess I should have sympathy for the idiots, but I don't. I think they should have thier lisences suspended for being idiots and endangering the lives of others who do pay attention to the law. I think the $198.50 fine and 4 points is too mild a punishment for selfish people who don't believe that the law serves a purpose - to keep the citizens safe.
One would hope that people would learn from this experience, but I am cynical enough to know they won't.