Thursday, February 01, 2007

Directin' Traffic

There's this intersection that I work every day. It is, in the parlance, an uncontrolled intersection. One street has the right of way, the other street has stop signs. There is no light. It is just about as simple an intersection as exists in the United States. It sits 1/2 block from a high school.

Every afternoon at 2:37, the buses roll away from that high school. Your intrepid narrator takes his fate in his hands, steps out into traffic and directs the vehicular flow in such a manner that the school buses negotiate the intersection safely.

As police work goes, this is fairly basic.

About once a month, some nitwit has his or her head stuck firmly up the fundament and fails to see a certified officer directing traffic in that intersection and blows through it, or is so fascinated by the sight of that same officer in the street that they fail to perform the simple task of braking in time to stay out of my intersection.

Little girls in Jeep Cherokees are the worst. Because it's ALL ABOUT THEM. One came into my intersection today and I was able to shut her down before she caused a bus accident. Accidents involving school buses are very bad juju.

"Hey young lady! You see me standing here with my hand up? What does that mean?"

"Oh! officer! I though you were waving!"

"No, dear heart. When I put my hand up, that means stop. Got it?"

"Yessir". She started to roll her window up and the vehicle inched forward.

"Stop!" She stopped. "Very good. You sit right there till I tell you to move. Got it?" I turned around and began clearing the intersection. She sat there in the intersection with me until I the traffic cleared.

I turned and addressed her, in a tone calculated to communicate plainly. "Do you think you can get that vehicle out of my intersection without causing an accident, or do I need to begin the whole license, registration, insurance thing?"

She thought she could safely drive to the next stop sign. I allowed her to leave without further comment.



Matt G said...

I find myself getting angry in such situations. I don't like to write citations when I'm angry-- it makes me question my judgement. (Kind of like how you shouldn't spank your kid when you're angry.)

So I take their DL, point them to a nice vacant spot of shoulder, and tell them I'll be with them directly.

Sometimes this takes an hour, while I deal with the problem at hand.

By which time, I generally feel that the ticket can pass. :)

Anonymous said...

Now Pawpaw, did you have the White Gloves on? You know, it's not "officially" directing traffic if you don't have the White Gloves on.