Dumb and Dangerous Driving - December 21, 2006

By  | 

EVANS, Ga.---Sometimes following the rules of the road takes a little longer.

Drivers around here seem to be more interested in getting there quickly than driving legally.

News 12's Stephanie Baker catches people turning the wrong way in this week's Dumb and Dangerous Driving.

It can be frustrating when you're in a hurry and want to make a quick left-hand turn, only to find a cement island directing you to the right. Making the turn anyway is breaking the law...something we caught dozens of people doing at the Evans Wal-Mart.

At a right turn only, we saw three people in a row going in the wrong way.

The concrete island directs all traffic to the right, almost forcing drivers not to turn left, in or out.

But driver Joe Rice says in a busy area like this, anything goes.

"This is like, the 'main area'," he said. "And there's so much traffic, so much congestion."

And so many people making illegal lefts in a place where the heavy traffic makes right turns hard enough.

It takes a few moments to make a left hand turn. And on Washington Road, drivers are often only about a second apart. That means there isn't usually enough time to turn left safely. That's why you're only supposed to turn right.

The light, just a few yards away, is where you can turn left.

Breaking the rules is partly to blame for the roughly 200,000 crashes in our area in recent years.

Those numbers peak this time of year, making the roads more dangerous for drivers like Aaron Reed.

"It's pretty bad during the day, but you can probably blame that on the holiday--people rushing around town," Aaron said.

The solution for some: just slow it down.

"They should be courteous and helpful of other people getting in and out of traffic, instead of being in such a hurry," said driver Tommy Martin.

A hurry some drivers admit makes it hard to follow the rules every time.

"That's so, like, whatever, people do that all the time," Joe said. "I have to do that to get to work on time."

But getting there on time doesn't excuse you from the law.

You're either turning right...or you're turning wrong.

And if a deputy catches you turning wrong, you could get a ticket for an improper turn.

That's an expense none of us need, especially around the holidays. And just remember: the islands are there for our safety.