Drivers and pedestrians pay attention! | Letter to the Editor

by Mick Stevens

Orcas Island

The purpose of this letter is to remind everyone who drives a motor vehicle here on Orcas that this is not Los Angeles or New York City. But in the last couple of years, a lot of drivers have ignored the basic traffic laws and failed to extend a little common courtesy to their fellow drivers. I know I have become impatient and frustrated dealing with these people every time I drive into Eastsound, or on the county roads. So please try to remain cool, calm, and collected when encountering these irresponsible drivers. I made the mistake of becoming impatient one day a couple of months ago. I came around from behind the post office, and a semi-truck was parked in front of the Sea View Theater. A pickup truck had stopped in the oncoming lane next to the semi. I could see that the car in front of the pickup was proceeding, but the pick-up was not. I assumed the person in the pick-up was either on their phone or not paying attention.

So without hesitation, I went around the pick-up on the left, in the front parking lot of the post office, when I realized a car was approaching in the oncoming lane. So at that point, I realized I had screwed up, and I had to cut in front of the pick-up to get back in the proper lane and get out of the way of the oncoming car. The person in the pick-up was an off-duty sheriff who came to my house when he was back on duty and issued me a citation. It was a wake-up call for me not to let these negligent drivers upset me to the point where I did something stupid.

Please slow down, follow the rules of the road, and be courteous to other drivers and pedestrians. And now a word to the pedestrians: If you are in Eastsound, do not step off the sidewalk without looking first or when cars are approaching unless there is a crosswalk. And even then, make sure you proceed with caution. Also, do not walk in lanes of traffic when cars are approaching. When walking on county roads, if cars are approaching, get out of the road if you can, especially if cars are approaching from both directions. It’s the law, not to mention common sense. There have been frequent reports lately on the news regarding pedestrians being hit, and either being severely injured or killed! So let’s try to avoid that from happening here, and everyone- please pay attention to what is going on around you at all times, and be safe!

Best wishes to you all!