MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Editorials

June 6, 2014

Stop driving like a selfish jerk

Muskogee’s police would not need to spend their time chasing traffic if knuckleheads didn’t act so selfishly.

But if you have driven around Muskogee recently, you know many don’t drive safely. People behind the wheel text or blather on their cellphones. Drivers run red lights and stop signs. Does anyone even realize the speed limit downtown is 25 mph?

A new traffic unit took to the streets this week to improve the situation.

We wish they weren’t needed. Police have bigger fish to fry than chasing speeders and similar scofflaws.

But the situation is worse than frustrating. It is deadly.

Police say there has been an increase in the number of serious crashes here. According to police records, the city has had nine fatal wrecks since July 2013. So, the unit is much needed.

“Having a traffic unit out there that is regulating traffic, getting people to comply with the traffic laws — that is one of the best public safety campaigns that you can do for a city,” said Deputy Chief Reggie Cotton.

The police call them accidents, but many of the crashes are the result of drivers acting as if they are ignorant of the law.

We know they aren’t. You have to know the laws governing operation of a motor vehicle before you can get a driver’s license. You have to take a written test to prove it. You have to get behind the wheel with an examiner to demonstrate that you understand the rules of the road and are capable of operating an automobile safely.

So, ignorance is not only no excuse, it simply doesn’t apply. That leaves selfishness.

If you press your luck at lights, if you push the speed limit, if you think your situation is more important than the safety of other drivers, you are acting like a selfish jerk.

Stop it.

Then we will all be safer, and our police can focus on bigger crimes.

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