Friday, February 19, 2010

So I almost didn't make it home tonight.

I've got a long long rant in my head, but I'm going to save it until I can organize my thoughts enough so that it is an actual informative rant, instead of coming off as an attack.

But, the events of the ride home:

So, there I was at the light at the intersection of Beaver Street and Rt. 66. I was in the straight traffic lane, aimed south, waiting for a train to pass so the light would turn green. (There is a bike lane there, but the light doesn't pick up cyclists if I'm in it.) The only other car was an SUV in the far left turn lane. Train is nearly done, and the SUV gets his left turn arrow. He takes off through the intersection, as a police car zips eastward through the intersection, lights blazing. (heading east.) Police car slowed enough so that the SUV was able to pass in front, and the officer made a left turn across 66 into a business parking lot, where there were a few more police vehicles, also with lights going. I don't know what was going on, but I guess it required 4 police cars.

Now, granted I wasn't paying attention to the traffic on 66 yet, so I didn't see the police car until after it was most of the way through the intersection. I assumed the officer had turned the cars lights on before the intersection, and that the SUV should have yielded. What happened next throws that into doubt, at least in my mind.

So, at this point, the train has passed, and I now have the green light to proceed south on Beaver. (Rt.66 is now red in both directions.) So, I check traffic, and begin rolling through the intersection, having only seen one set of lights heading east on 66. Well, this one set isn't slowing, and isn't going to stop, it seems. So, halfway through the intersection, I grab my brakes, just as car lays on his, and he nearly stops a full car length in the intersection, in front of me. Had I not seen him and slowed in advance, he would have hit me. As I was reaching to squeeze the horn that wasn't there, (I was on Henry, and I've gotten used to honking at cars with the big bad horn on Bi) the officer inside THAT car flipped on his lights and took off through the intersection to join his buddies.

That's right, I was almost hit by a police car.

Now, I understand emergencies, and the need to get there fast. I also know that a lot of officers abuse the lights and sirens on their cars to get to the drive thru. (I've witnessed this more than a few times.)

All I ask is if they're going to run red lights and stop signs, it'd be nice of them to hit the lights and sirens to let everyone in the intersection know they're going to break basic traffic laws to get somewhere.
Mileage: 22 or so.

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