Letter: Inconsiderate Gridlock

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602 S. Gay Street
2nd Floor
Knoxville, TN 37902

One perk of being a member of the Tennessee General Assembly is the ability to change a law if your family members are affected.

Ear to the Ground in Metro Pulse’s May 1, 2014 issue reports that House Transportation Committee Chairman Vince Dean of East Ridge moved a stalled bill through the House of Representatives because his daughter had received a traffic ticket for running a red light. Metro Pulse says: “You should no longer get a ticket if you are trapped in an intersection and the light changes.”

Her actual violation was blocking an intersection, not running a red light. The Tennessee Driver Handbook says on Page 86: “When you cross traffic, you need a large enough gap to get all the way across the road. DO NOT BLOCK INTERSECTIONS or get caught with a portion of your vehicle left in a traffic lane with approaching vehicles. Make sure you can safely complete the cross or entering maneuver before you begin.” Rep. Dean’s daughter won’t get a red-light-running ticket for it again.

Metro Pulse begins this item by posing the question: “Have you ever entered an intersection with the light green only to have traffic stop in front of you and then the light changes?” This doesn’t just happen. The only way to get trapped in an intersection when the light changes is to enter it without knowing that you can get through. It snarls traffic by gridlocking intersections, and it’s therefore careless, inconsiderate, selfish, and illegal. In my case, the answer to Metro Pulse’s question is “never.”

Bill Stack


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