What does it take to enforce traffic laws?

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Shortly after getting out of church, I was tailgated from the Salmon Creek intersection and nearly involved in an accident at the Nugget Mall Intersection. My family and I were going for a short ride to get the Sunday paper before heading home. I noticed a dark-gray Jeep behind us that was too close for my comfort. As we proceeded to the Vanderbilt intersection, he swerved and fishtailed, because he was trying to stop and was too close. As we started to move into the deceleration lane, the same Jeep pulled on the inside, risking the lives of my family and anyone else that was in close proximity.

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I was fighting to keep control of my vehicle and from hitting those around me, so I was not able to identify the driver. When I called the police, the dispatcher stated the police couldn't do anything because I didn't see the driver's face. I told them there was a witness, but I was told it still wasn't enough. Go figure. Isn't this a good example of how the system does not work? What does it take to get the police involved?

I wrote an e-mail to the mayor earlier in the summer because there was an open discussion to change the intersection going toward Costco. (To date, I have not received a response.) The reasoning was some drivers felt the intersection needed to be expanded. Everyone in Juneau knows the commercial drivers are the big offenders who don't slow down, and there has been an incident that took a life. I told the mayor I was almost hit by one of the cab companies running for the next fare. This driver nearly hit me because he didn't stop when he was supposed to. Again, no response. I asked the mayor why should money be spent on expanding roads that aren't even being enforced? Again, what does it take to get the elected officials involved?

I want to know, and I'm sure other Juneau residents want to know the same thing, how many Juneau residents must be killed by drivers who don't get any punishment or a light sentence? What does it take to get our elected officials attention? There are drivers out doing what they want because there are no police around to enforce the laws. What does it take?

James M. Johnson


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