That it might be subjective as to why driving on the Seattle and area I-5 Corridor is more hazardous the past year, one aspect of the local driving experience is abundantly clear---driver patience is shorter while speeds are faster---a frustrating combination endangering everyone driving down the highway. Locally this means that nearly 95 % of the drivers are ignoring the posted 60 MPH speed limit within the Marysville to Olympia corridor regardless of time of day, traffic and weather conditions wet, snowy or dry.
The not-so-hidden secret is the tacit permission given by Governor Inslee and the Washington State Patrol allowing everyone to speed 5-10 MPH over the speed limit minus fear of being pulled over and cited, an equation forcing anyone following the speed limit to fear for their lives, the speeding drivers unthinkingly pushing, pushing the cars in front of them forward, disregarding consequence and safety. 60 MPH it seems then never good enough, driver after driver jockeying for space and advantage, a vehicular steeplechase down the I-5 roadway, the drivers racing to who knows where but clearly none of them caring as long as they are the first to arrive, never for once considering the inherent risk they have been taking to achieve little to nothing consequential.
Why State of Washington leadership condones this is something you might ask them because it makes little sense allowing this kind of recklessness to continue flourishing, a new kind of cultural madness infecting the general population. Turn on the traffic reports and listen to the constant reporting of car accidents blocking the roadways, causing injury and delays. Upon any day, any hour I find myself passing "bumper to bumper" accidents pulled over to the roadside, tailgating and failing to maintain correct following distances a constant and ever reoccurring reality, drivers forever disregarding commonsense and basic "rules of the road."
For an easy experiment proving my point, drive to a position on I-5 to where you find yourself centered between two groups of drivers, all the while maintaining a steady 60 MPH. Watch in your rearview mirror the rapidly approaching cars bearing down upon you, quickly engulfing you in a wave of cars exceeding 70-80 MPH zipping by, leaving you far behind. Like the ocean's tidal current, you will find this repeated mile after mile, metallic waves rolling past in a sea of gasoline-propelled fury.
Will they ever slow down, you ask? And the answer clearly is no, nothing impeding this runaway mob taking over the roadway. Watch as they fly past the parked WA State Patrol cars waiting for bigger targets, 70 MPH not warranting much notice. If the police won't intercede, who will, stopping a rioting clear to see?
I don't know the answer, only knowing it would be better if everyone slowed down and maintained safe following distances and practices. Are these drivers stupid? Yes they are. Are these drivers insane? Yes they are. Do they care about you and me? No, not at all. Will they kill you and me and themselves minus hesitation? Yes, of course, they will.
And meeting them at Heaven's Gate, ask them why they killed you. You might find their reply interesting.
A Superintendent's Illness
Some of you might have noticed Jerry's recent absence from the office, and wondered, like I did, where he had gone. The sad explanation is that he had a stroke and was hospitalized for nearly a week. Thankfully the attack was relatively mild but symptoms unfortunately remain, his brain still recovering from the neurological trauma. I know all this because he was my passenger this afternoon, by chance picking him up after a doctor's appointment. Say a prayer for our longtime Yellow Cab superintendent and taxi buddy, returning the good support Jerry has gracefully extended to us over the decades. Best wishes, Jerry, and get well soon!
Just found out that my friend and fellow writer Melody A. died after her long extended illness. Melody wrote the jacket comments on my last book. Goodbye Melody, it was good to know you!
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