When did everyone forget how to drive?
Original post made by Greg David, Old Mountain View, on Jun 30, 2014
We all learned this in driver school, yet few seem to remember it.
I came home late this evening around 1AM and there was a significant power outage along El Camino Real, including the traffic signals at ECR/Calderon/Phyllis and ECR/Castro. Thrown off a bit by this, I still came to a complete stop at Calderon as per California law, but was astonished by another vehicle that blew by me at full speed. This prompted me to do a little unscientific survey of traffic law compliance at ECR and Castro.
I observed traffic at this intersection for around twenty minutes or so and during this time there was only around 25% compliance with the law. The vast majority of those that stopped, were either turning or coming from Castro St. Most drivers on ECR simply drove through the intersection with little to no hesitation. Shockingly, a police patrol officer did just the same and blew through at full speed. In all fairness a police sergeant did heed the vehicle code and came to a complete stop during the lights out.
After observing this dangerous situation, I went home and dug out a road flare from under my drivers seat. I ignited this flare and placed it directly in the center of the intersection. During the twenty minutes this flare was burning, I observed closer to 50% compliance with the law. Still, most compliance was from those turning or coming from Castro. I did notice a slightly higher level of braking from ECR drivers before flying through the intersection. I saw the sergeant again, he stopped as he should. Another patrol car, not sure if it was the same one, flew through the intersection in the other direction, violating the right of way of a motorist that had stopped and signaled their left turn onto Castro. This was the grossest violation I observed.
After the flare fizzled, compliance returned to less than 25%. for what's it worth, the sergeant rolled through again, but not after coming to a complete stop.
My question is, why doesn't MVPD take any sort of action in this hazardous situation? Even a few flares can make a big difference. This seems to have been the policy for years, to not direct traffic or set flare patterns. Why not I ask?