I’m going to change one of my driving habits.
From now on, when I am at an intersection and the traffic light turns green, I am not going to pull out until I see that all cars coming from my left or right are stopped.
I almost got killed the other day in Silver-dale by an SUV that would have T-boned me right in the driver’s side if I hadn’t stepped on the gas and surged forward out of its path.
Everybody complains about the new intersection at State Route 3, but my near-calamitous experience was on the old highway in Silverdale.
I was first in line on the street that intersects that highway just north of Washington Mutual Bank at the last traffic light out of town before the one south of the overpass.
When the green light came on for me, I moved forward only to see this silver SUV hurtling toward me from the left. I had to get the hell out of the way in a hurry, turning left at the time to avoid hitting the curb on the other side.
I don’t know how I missed becoming a statistic. Maybe because I was turning left and the car’s rear end came east faster than it would have if I had been going straight through, which is impossible to do there.
Thank God for my good peripheral vis-ion.
I have air bags in my Honda Accord, but as I understand it, they work best in head-on collisions, not when you’re hit in the side.
Some of the newer cars, I think, also have side air bags. If I live long enough to buy another one, that’s what I am going to get.
Running red lights seems to be the fashion these days, which is why cameras recording offenders are being installed at various hot spots.
I’m all for it.
What gets me is that the ones I see appear to have no reason to be doing it.
I mean, they can’t all be going for a ferry or rushing a pregnant woman to the hospital.
The one that barely missed me joined the end of a long line of cars moving slowly going through downtown Silverdale’s five or six lights.
When I told Lt. Clint Casebolt of the Washington State Patrol about it, he said that when he was younger he too just charged out into intersections when the light turned green, but now, with two kids in the family car, he pauses, looking left and right before he moves.
I think the police properly chose the places to begin this new surveillance, Warren Ave. at 16th St., Wheaton Way at Sylvan Way and at 11th St. at Callow Ave.
I don’t think it is necessary, however, to have a 30-day warning period to help drivers become aware of the cameras.
Drivers are not supposed to run red lights, and the $124 tickets they’ll get if caught at it should be sufficient to make them aware right off the bat.
As for the new Mad Max intersection, I have yet to go to Silverdale on it.
The first two times I used it I went to East Bremerton where I didn’t even want to go.
Once I was committed, there was no place to turn around.
When I go to Silverdale now, if I’m coming from the north, I use the old highway which takes me right up the main drag.
If I’m coming from the south, I take the cutoff before the new intersection which also puts me on the main drag.
When I leave Silverdale, I also use the old highway to go home to Hansville.
Maybe some holiday when traffic is light, perhaps this coming Easter Sunday when I attend sunrise services, I’ll give the new intersection a trial run and see if I can find my way into Silverdale through it.
I do hear, by the way, that the Department of Transportation, in view of the almost universal anger and fear over what was done there, is taking a look at it to see if there’s a fix.
They should have left it the way it was and saved beaucoup millions of dollars.
Adele Ferguson can be reached at PO Box 69, Hansville, Wa., 98340.