As in any other subdivision, there are several stop signs and speed bumps near where I live. The speed limit is a weird 21 mph. For the most part, homeowners in our area adhere to the law, and I haven’t observed any accidents since I moved there in 2003.
After a long day of work, somewhere around 7 p.m., I traveled down a street that I consider the shorter route to my house. In reality, it saves me about 30 seconds, but that’s enough to make a difference, especially when I’m trying to get home to a sensible dinnertime.
About a block from my home, there is a 4-way stop. Many of us slow down, almost to a complete stop, but we proceed if the way is clear. On this particular evening, traffic was quiet, and I must admit that I did not come to a complete stop.
The Self-Appointed Cop
A man driving a Ford Explorer was approaching the intersection, and he observed that I rolled the stop sign. I noticed that he turned left, which was unusual because most motorists take a right, which leads them out of the subdivision. Of course, this meant that he was coming after me.
On this particular evening, I decided to park my car in the driveway, which gave him a chance to confront me.
Appointed Cop: Are you aware that you didn’t come to a complete stop?
Me: I guess you’re right. I slowed down, but noticed that no one was around.
Appointed Cop: We have laws around here.
[I’m not sure if he meant that other parts of the United States don’t have laws.]
Me: Yes. I’m sure we have laws.
Appointed Cop: You need to make sure and stop next time.
Me: It’s probably best that you get on your way. I have dinner plans with my family, and need to go.
Following someone to his home is probably not a good idea. I decided to take the high-road and walk away, but there are many other cases in which the situation could get volatile. Does this newly appointed cop plan to patrol the stop signs in our neighborhood and will follow all violators to their homes? I guess he might consider making a citizen’s arrest.
The point here is that those of us who live in the subdivision are careful and, for the most part, we follow the traffic laws. Rolling through a stop sign is an issue, but the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) has yet to assign an officer to cite those who violate. My guess is that the issue is of small importance.
How to solve this predicament? Let’s assume that I follow the traffic laws from that day forward, and always make a complete stop. Will this make the newly appointed officer happy? Since this encounter, I have been more conscious of the stop sign, and perhaps even meet the traffic requirement on most occasions.
However, I did notice the other day that I beat someone to the same 4-way stop, but she decided to go before me. Should I follow her home and scold her for failing to give me the right of way?
Unfortunately, when I needed him the most, our eager police officer was nowhere to be found.