The College Place City Council took a small action last week that sends a big message: Use good sense and common courtesy when driving.
The Council unanimously approved an ordinance sought by Police Chief Troy Tomaras that prohibits vehicles from cutting corners — as in driving through a parking lot — to avoid having to stop at traffic signals.
OK, this isn’t a big deal as infractions go and, frankly, it has been happening for years in cities and towns across America.
Yet, it’s annoying and somewhat dangerous. It means vehicles are going through parking lots in a manner that is not expected by other drivers and then the vehicles can create disruption as they pop into traffic on the other side of the traffic light. The drivers of these vehicles are not being patient, which is a condition that can lead to lousy driving and accidents.
College Place made its move because it had specific problem areas. Chief Tomaras looked at the current law, only to find out that in order to crack down on the scofflaws his officers would have to cite them for negligent driving. He thought that seemed too harsh, and we believe he is correct.
“We are looking for a traffic infraction that is more reasonable to the violation. Many cities have a cutting corners ordinance. This is another tool to help address this dangerous action,” Tomaras said.
While the Council members and police chief were essentially focused on two College Place intersections — 12th Street and College Avenue, through Beeline Auto Center’s lot, and at Fourth Street and College Avenue, through Shell’s lot — we see the action as a call for drivers to be patient and drive with more awareness of the drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists around them.
It’s an approach that drivers in and around the city of Walla Walla need to be reminded of — particularly, in the midst of all the road construction.
The number of driver’s cutting corners and other risky maneuvers in an effort to zip in and around detours around the Issacs Avenue and Tietan Street project has increased.
In addition, folks are also sliding into bike lanes to speed past slower vehicles in construction zones.
And, as usual, too many drivers don’t always make full stops at intersections, use their turn signals nor do they turn on their lights at dusk — or sometimes even later.
It all comes down to being attentive and courteous drivers.
We aren’t advocating any new ordinances for Walla Walla city or county as College Place did, it would simply be nice if drivers would pay more attention to driving properly. New CP traffic ordinance sends right message