Last Thursday a little before 6 p.m., I happened to turn from Middle Neck Road onto Fairview Avenue. As I passed the first street that borders Memorial Field (Park Place West), a car shot out and made a right turn onto Fairview. Unfortunately, the driver did so without bothering to notice that I was already on Fairview and about to pass the park.
To avoid a horrific collision, I swerved into the opposite lane of traffic, but luck was with me and there was no car coming in that direction. I know there’s a stop sign at the corner of Park Place, but the driver of the other vehicle was in far too great a hurry to pay any attention to it. I swerved, hit my horn as hard as I could and somehow managed to avoid the other car.
Most local residents already know that in Great Neck, many drivers feel that the rules of the road apply to other drivers and not to them. Stop signs are routinely ignored, or at best, people slow down as they go through them. While I was fortunate that day not to be badly injured, I fear someone else will not be as lucky as I was.
What’s the solution to “optional” stop signs? More law enforcement perhaps. Cameras to catch offenders? I fear we must rely on educating the public and encouraging driving courtesy—a difficult course of action at best.
Cars can inflict serious harm to other cars, to other drivers and passengers, and to pedestrians. Obeying a stop sign could save a life. Ignoring one could cost a life. Each of us must make a choice. Is some destination so important that we’re willing to risk life and limb? I think not. I hope not.
Please make the right decision. Obey the rules of the road, for your own sake and for all of ours.