Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Am I the only one in Manteca concerned about the unsafe driving practices of many drivers in our community? I know the local law enforcement officers have more to be concerned about other than traffic issues, but lately so many drivers are witnessed violating basic driving laws that a stepped-up patrol effort might be in order.
Here are just few examples of poor driving techniques found in Manteca:
uSunday at the Austin Road and Highway 99 ramp a woman totally engrossed in something else other than her driving went through the stop sign at no less than 40 mph without even blinking. Running stop signs is one of the larger problems and are the major cause of serious accidents and injuries. It has gone far beyond the “California Stop” — which is merely slowing down for the stop sign rather than coming to a complete stop. Watch out pedestrians!
uUnsafe lane changes without using turn signals create a panic situation for the driver who is cut-off. I have observed people crossing two or three lanes just to get to a “needed” left turn lane once again because they were not paying attention to their driving and where they wanted to go.
uUse of cell phones while driving continues to cause major distractions. Driving a car, truck or motorcycle safely should take the driver’s full attention. Many distractions occur from other sources including passengers in the car, crying children, animals darting into the roadway, driving at night without having your lights on, and many others. Cell phone usage laws while driving need to be enforced. Please find a safe spot to pull over and stop to have your conversation.
uFinally, the other day I observed two stopped Manteca Unified School District buses on Atherton Drive. Both had their red lights flashing and were unloading students. Not one car stopped for the flashing red lights. At least eight to 10 cars sped past the school buses. This dangerous situation could cause a traffic accident for either the bus driver or a student. Having driven school bus for over 10 years, I know first-hand the huge responsibility placed on our school bus drivers. The red lights flashing and the stop sign on the side of the bus are there for the safety of our children and bus drivers and need to be respected. Maybe a few “wake-up” tickets from the Manteca Police Department would help some drivers realize how important the law really is.
Driving a car, a truck or motorcycle is a privilege in this state. It is not a “guaranteed right.” Let’s all do our best to drive safely and pro-actively to avoid accidents and make our city safer.