Dumb and Dangerous Driving - February 15, 2007

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It's an unusual intersection with two sets of traffic lights, and that's causing all sorts of problems for drivers.

The dog-leg at Walton Way and Monte Sano Avenue is leading to all sorts of traffic violations.

There are two major problems. First, people are rushing through the first light to make the second light. Second, they're cutting out of their lane to avoid people stopping to turn left. All of this creates a hazard.

Dean Wiseman drives this route to work every day.

"People are trying to get through to make it to work on time. You just see a lot of aggressive driving," he said.

Monte Sano Avenue is briefly broken up by Walton Way, creating two intersections for the same road. They're close together, and the lights are not in sync.

So people run the first to make the second.

It's something Danny Fitzgerald sees just a few feet away from his front door.

"When they go, people are barreling up this inside lane, and boom, they hit," he said.

Neighbors say they recently saw an accident here, and they're worried they may be next because of driving like this.

Deputy Robert Brown cautions this kind of driving led to several recent wrecks.

"A lot of times, people aren't paying attention to both of the lights," he told News 12. "They'll see one turn red and the other turns green, and they'll pass the one that's red."

But the problem doesn't stop there.

Other drivers cut over to avoid getting stuck behind someone turning left.

That's why Dean drives with caution.

"If I make a mistake and someone else is pushing the odds, then that's maybe when something bad happens," he said.

Dean says people trying to cut corners and combine lights put everyone at risk for a crash. He also says changes to the way that intersection is structured could solve the problem.

Deputies say you will be paying a citation if you break the rules.

Augusta's Traffic Engineering Department says Monte Sano Avenue is about a century old and was made like that before the creation of traffic signals.

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