Dumb and Dangerous Driving - April 12, 2007

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Drivers are turning the wrong way at the wrong intersection, and that means trouble for folks in Beech Island.

A very concerned viewer tells us it's happening at Beech Island Avenue and Atomic Road. Deputies say going left there is very dangerous, but people are doing it anyway.

We watched an 18 wheeler turn left across two lanes of traffic to get to the gas station, even though not just one, but two signs were there to tell him not to.

"I want to shake them!" said Judy Peterson, who lives nearby.

Judy knows two people who died in this intersection. It's a place where people don't pay attention, switch lanes when they're not supposed to, and disregard the no left-turn law.

"It's just a dangerous situation."

If you want to get to the gas station or Sand Bar Ferry, you're supposed to drive around a ramp. That's because there's no left turn lane at the intersection, and deputies say traffic will back up.

"Then people could come at a high rate of speed and cause a collision," said Lt. Daniel Gainey with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

Lt. Gainey says the key to keeping yourself away from rule-breakers and out of a wreck is defensive driving.

"That's the biggest thing, is watching out for everyone else," said truck driver John Meyer. "You have to take control of yourself and everyone else."

He says he stays back and assumes the worst. And we certainly saw plenty of that today: driver after driver after driver putting convenience ahead of safety.

"People are in too big a hurry, I guess," Judy said.

She wants this to stop before another shortcut takes another life.

Deputies say if they catch you doing that, it's going to be a ticket...and it could be up to four points on your license.

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