546 The Question is... Traffic control


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Heather Dotson wrote:



While speeding complaints have remained consistent, data does not show an increase in traffic accidents since Dyer left.

No increase in traffic accidents, but we’re going to spend our taxpayer dollars and our police officers’ time bothering people that are driving safely, albeit over the limit?

The police in our town could serve the citizens better by doing something about the heroin problem.

Heather Dotson


The question is....

How do you feel about that?


Ronald Hamric 3 years ago


As you have said on numerous occasions, drug abuse primarily harms the abuser. Those who chose to drive and not obey the speed limits places every other person sharing the road with them at risk. I would put traffic death statistics up against drug death statistics any day if that would help the lady understand the priorities of the police


Pat Randall 3 years ago

Drug abusers not only harm themselves, they harm their families and loved ones. All speeders aren't drug users. I have never used drugs or ever tried one. Tylenol and cigarettes are my drug of choice. I was a speeder at one time, had my license taken for three months and had to go to driving school. The second time I went to driving school, I was in the class with my son. I was so embarrassed. No more speeding for me after that. I didn't speed when I had my kids in the car with me. Do I get a good point for that?


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Traffic enforcement? Someone needs to sit down and decide what the goal is!

We always see people going overboard in enforcement. One day there's nothing. The next it's overdone. I've seen that for the entire 60 years I have been driving.

On one Air Force Base I saw Air Police sitting two blocks away from a four way stop and watching with binoculars. If someone's wheels did not come to a dead stop they and ticketed him. I went the Base Commander, told him about it, and asked it we didn't have something better for AP's to do. That ended that.

In Payson itself I see very little actual speeding or reckless driving. I don't speed. Never have, so am not involved. I do, however, move right along when in Payson because I am always under pressure to get back home to Lolly, so I am no annoying roadblock either. As far as people "speeding" when they come in from the south on 87, I am on that stretch of road every week, and I just do not see it. Looks normal to me.

I do see a very occasional person who may not actually run a stop light at the 87/260 intersection, but really should have stopped. But that intersection has no business being in the center of town, and until ADOT thumbs its nose at Payson and moves 260 onto a bypass where it belongs it will always be a problem. Having the intersection of two main roads in the middle of town where one of them requires a left turn is just plain nuts.

The next biggest problem I see in Payson are the two roundabouts on Highway 87. They may be statistically safer, but they are hateful things which result in MANY close calls. I would far and away prefer that they be traffic lights. Or better still that ADOT join the rest of the world and start putting in overpasses. Putting in roundabouts is a cynical way of putting the onus on drivers instead of trying to make the roads BOTH safe and convenient. Traffic circles are fine in housing areas; but not on main roads! GIven a vote, the people of Payson would have those things torn out in five minutes — and who else should make the decision? It's their town.

I do not see traffic enforcement and drug use as interconnected. Druggies are druggies. Drunks are drunks. If they enter a car and drive like fools, it does no good to give ordinary citizens a hard time about it by putting up overkill speed traps. You catch the wrong people.

I DO see traffic enforcement and spoiled behavior as interconnected. I have finally learned to do something I'll pass on to you. I was puzzled over the way people weaved all over the road on 87 between Pine and Payson. It's an epidemic. No kidding! And yet I rarely could see people with a hand up to a head and using a cell. Then I learned. Don't look for hand to the head; look for a hand sticking out forward holding a cell and texting. You do that and I guarantee that you will learn why people are all over the road these days.

I think the solution for traffic problems is quite different from what we usually see.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

If we really want to make the roads safer then we need to focus on the people who make them unsafe. That is NOT the ordinary guy or gal who may get carried away once in a while and drive a mite too fast, which is what patrols and speed traps usually catch.

What we need to do is to catch the people we all hate; the ones who blatantly ignore the speed limits, who hang back on the road doing 30 or 40 and then speed up ONLY as they come to a turnoff, who speed up the second they see you coming up at the legal speed limit with the intention of passing them, who drive drunk or on drugs, and who weave all over the road because you can't properly control a car with one hand (which today is probably the big one).

Want a practical, workable solution that will target the people we all know are the real problem? The ones who kill people? The ones who rile up people so badly that they go nuts on the road? The ones who spend 20 percent of their time in the oncoming lane?

Forget about patrolling. Station a police car in a likely location, set up a special 911-like number for reporting people who are REALLY breaking the law, and nail THEM. They're the problem and they're the ones who PPD and ADOT should focus on. We can't catch everyone, but if we can catch them we are doing the job.

If PPD set up something like that it would be doing a real service to the people. It would not be catching the usual minor traffic infractions. It would catch the people who are really dangerous. Why ticket someone for going a bit over the speed limit as he comes into town down a hill while some brainless teen, druggie, drunk, or spoiled brat zooms around town?

Why if ADOT were to set up a phone alert system between Pine and Payson for a few weeks, and repeat it every once in while, they could clear out dozens of druggies, drunks, and dunces in no time.

Not patrolling. Not speed traps. Not trying to do the impossible. Not sitting by some bar at night, claiming someone made a too wide turn, holding him long enough to get him over the DUI limit, and wasting time and money.

A special phone number. That's what we need. Target the REAL problems. And, if necessary, stick them in jail for a while to let them know that we are not going to put up with actual drunk driving, or with druggies behind steering wheels, or with spoiled brats who can't wait till they get home to shoot off their big mouths!


Pat Randall 3 years ago

Tom, I have news for you. The highway patrol has patrol cars parked on or near the highway. One in each direction with a radar gun. They have hiding spots or unmarked cars. When a speeder goes by they radio the patrolman up the road and he or she nabs them. I could tell you some of the colors and kind of vehicles and the hiding spots, but won't do it on here. The more idiots they ticket the safer I will feel on my trips to the valley. I have been driving the Beeline for at least 50 yrs. and have seen the changes in the highway. My husband put some of the guardrail, fences and concrete curb on it. The traffic policemen here in Payson don't park in the right places to catch the speeders, and runners of the stop signs. An officer won't ticket someone just on a complaint. They have to clock them some way, either by radar or following them. Any officers out there want to correct me on anything I have said. Please do.


Barbara Rasmussen 3 years ago

As far as a special phone number I dial 911 to report erratic drivers. I always tell the dispatcher what road I am on and approximate milepost. I have done this numerous times on the Beeline going South and North. I also have witnessed DPS and Town officers with the car pulled over that I called the complaint on. Also I have called in drivers going South in the North bound lane several times. So whether they were drunk, confused, high on drugs or just not paying attention, for them to get stopped by an officer perhaps not only saved the driver's life but someone in another vehicle. And always remember you do not have to have service on your cell phone to dial 911.


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Pat, I know about the standard speed traps. Used to see them all the time when I was driving up and down from the Valley. They sometimes get the right people, but most of the time, I suspect, they only get the ones who don't have one of those radar detectors I see stuck on so many dashboards. Anyway, why in the world would anyone have to speed where the speed limit is 65? If they get ticketed they certainly deserve it.

The really dangerous people today are rarely speeding. Start looking carefully, especially if you are a passenger and can take good look. You'll see them. Since my son mentioned them to me just a couple of weeks ago I have spotted no less than six of them on 87 between Pine and Payson. You can't miss them if you know what to look for. They are unable to stay in the center of the lane like other people, they have their right hand stuck out forward, hand cupped upward, and are texting.

That explains SO much. I thought the world was suddenly filled with drunks or people who just couldn't drive. The simple truth is that we need — badly! — a law against texting in a moving vehicle. In fact, as everyone knows and has known for a long time, we need one against using a cell phone while driving period! One hand driving on a narrow curving road, especially doing it while distracted, is madness! A law against moving texting is long overdue and is no doubt being held up by lobbying. I guess we'll have to have an initiative drive.

Anybody have an idea who we could contact to get that started?

Good for you, Barbara! That's the way to handle nuts. Call them in!

That way we are partnering with the police. They can't be everywhere and they need our help.

By the way, if you think that we do not need laws against doing stupid things while driving, just read the statistics. If this scare you, nothing ever will.

Do you know how many people were killed or injured last year because of distracted driving, most of which is either a hand held cell or texting? A horrific 421,000 thousand people were injured, of whom 3,360 died!

And by the way, we are surrounded by states which have banned texting in a moving vehicle. CA, UT, NV, CO, and NM. In fact, 41 states have banned texting.

You know what good old AZLEG has banned?

Texting by school bus drivers ONLY!

Why bother? Most kids drive themselves, and more than one quarter of all 16 and 17 year olds "admit" that they text while driving. How many actually do it no one knows, but motor a vehicle crash is THE most common place for Americans 1 - 34 years old to die.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is literally going nuts over this. They say, "Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America's roadways."


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Sometimes I crack up when I go back and read a line I typed and "corrected." :-)

Look at this one: "...but motor a vehicle crash is THE most common place for Americans 1 - 34 years old to die."

"...motor a vehicle crash..."?

You get that when you leave out something like an "a" in a sentence, go to stick it in where it belongs, and the page twitches because something was still loading on another part of the page. Drive me nuts!

I will admit, of course, that's a short drive. :-)

Sounds like S. Z. Zakall, the chunky little Hungarian actor who played in about a million movies and always said things like, "No! Run I don't!"

Remember him? And his most famous comment? "Sh-e-e-e-e!"


Tom Garrett 3 years ago

Remember the old 50's lyric?

Oh, oh, oh! Round and around, and around, and around, And around, and around, and around.

Oh, oh, oh! Round and around, and around, and around, And around, and around, and around.

Oh, oh, oh! Round and around, and around, and around, And around, and around, and around.

Oh, oh, oh! Round and around, and around, and around, And around, and around, and around.

Sing it while you're on your way to Sedona?

But if I were you I'd quit singing when the cops stopped me for excessive roundabouting.

And don't forget the old Army saying:

Blessed are those who go in circles, for they shall be called wheels.

And the legislator's mantra:

When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

And no, I am totally sober.

I brought in the New Year with a cup of tea this morning.



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