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I get it, everyone has someplace to be and life is busy. However, I feel we need to get back to some basics when we're driving.

Most of us are doing things correctly, but there is that percentage of people who just don't get it and they think the road is theirs and that they're the only person on the road. Those are the people I'd like to reach, but I also know that they are the ones who will not read this. I'd hope this article doesn't come off as a rant to Tyler and Longview drivers, but more of an awareness of a couple of things I've noticed a lot here lately.

Getting behind the wheel and driving is a huge responsibility and every time you turn that key or push that start button, it could end up tragically because drivers around town and blatantly disobeying common sense traffic rules. There are signs and signals along the road and at intersections that give us direction on what to do. Of the simplest ones, the red octagon with a white border around it with the letters S-T-O-P emblazoned big and bold across it. Texas law states:

STOP SIGNS AND YIELD SIGNS.

(c) An operator required to stop by this section shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. In the absence of a crosswalk, the operator shall stop at a clearly marked stop line. In the absence of a stop line, the operator shall stop at the place nearest the intersecting roadway where the operator has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway.

Lucky Larry, Mix 93-1

Oftentimes, people are not coming to a complete stop. They're just rolling through the stop sign or making that right turn and never stopping. I've seen it quite often, vehicles crossing a street or turning in front of me (or another vehicle) and I'm the only one coming. Instead of waiting for me to pass through, they have to go in front of me and in many cases, I (or the other vehicle) are forced to slow down in order to keep from being in an accident. Please, just wait a bit longer as that oncoming vehicle passes by.

Lucky Larry, Mix 93-1

The other thing I'd like Tyler and Longview drivers to pay more attention to are the traffic signals. A yellow light or solid yellow arrow, does not give you permission to speed up and go through the intersection or continue to make that left-hand turn after that light turns red, it means stop. It doesn't mean if you're in the turn lane and moving you can still go through the intersection as it changed from green to yellow to red. Also, if you are in a right turn lane with a traffic light that is red, that means you have to stop too. Not just slow down and roll around the corner.

If Tyler and Longview drivers would simply return to the basics and stop when instructed to by the traffic light or signs life would be a lot better for a lot of East Texas drivers. One final thought that I'd like to pass on is from my friend Melz On The MIC as he says 'the merge lane, learn to love it'. That is one more thing that drivers need to understand and learn how to use is the merge lane. It's often associated with that red triangle with the white border with the letters Y-I-E-L-D.  This sign has a similar but different meaning than its cousin the STOP sign.

Just be safe and courteous and remember that you're not the only one on the road and definitely not the only one that has to be somewhere soon.

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