The residential community I live in fifteen minutes north of the City of Orlando contains just shy of one thousand (1000) single-family homes. Situated in what used to be Native American land, the subdivision borders the Little Wekiva River to the west, giving the layout of the streets an interesting design. As a consequence of this, there are few four-way intersections.
The four-way intersections that do exist are prone more and more to running by careless drivers. This is not an emergency situation, but the amount of people who disregard stop signs — in particular, the one at the centre of the neighbourhood — is on the rise. Especially at night, it seems.
Fielding complaints from concerned homeowners, the Altamonte Springs Police Department promised to step-up their patrols of the area to catch these stop sign evaders and those driving in excess of the meager twenty-five miles per hour (25 mph) speed limit. In the first week of the increased police presence, the homeowner's association reported in their newsletter that numerous offenders were caught and issued expensive tickets.
Now while I have no doubt certain law enforcement campaigns exist only for the purpose of raising capital for the organization, the mission here was honest — and in my opinion as a member of the community — completely necessary.
Driving home late one night a few weeks back, I was in a little more of a hurry that usual. I had stayed out much later than I planned and was very anxious to get to sleep. In my haste, I did something very unusual for me — I came to only a "rolling stop" at a four-way intersection. That is to say, I slowed down and nearly came to a full and complete stop, but upon surveying the area determined that acceleration was safe.
And then the lights came on from behind.
The officer was very polite and simply enquired as to why I felt stopping fully was unnecessary. I gave him a brief synopsis of the above and revealed the irony of the situation. After suppressing some mild laughter, the officer retreated to his patrol car to check my driver's license and whatnot.
Returning to my window, he simply asked me to drive safely and have a pleasant evening. I wished him the same.
Photo Credit: Lawton Police Department, Lawton, Oklahoma