Traffic Enforcement Crack Down

Friday, April 27, 2007

A taxi driver friend of mine is none too pleased at the moment. He pulled over in front of a hotel to drop off a passenger, but because he pulled over in the middle of the road next to a line of parked cars, he was stopped by a police officer and ticketed.

Now if you believe my friend's story, he'll claim that he pulled over with sufficient room for traffic to pass. Despite the fact that this man is my friend, he's also a taxi driver, so I'm going to liberally interpret the phrase "with sufficient room for traffic to pass" to mean that cars were probably forced to swing into the opposing lane of traffic to get around.

In this situation, I have little sympathy for my friend. While I never enjoy hearing about the misfortunes of friends, I am an avid proponent of the crack down of traffic laws. If the government and police force is actually beginning to step up on this matter, I applaud them.

A word of caution to our governing bodies, however. Such an operation must be handled with kid gloves. Enforcing an instant crack down on laws that have previously been loosely moderated will only cause problems. Many people are not aware of proper traffic laws and therefore, are not aware that they are breaking them.

People are going to begin complaining that such a crackdown may be akin to punishing a kid for touching something when you never told him/her not to touch it in the first place. This excuse has only partial validity. Any person with a Jordanian driver's license should have taken a written driver's test, which includes necessary traffic laws and precautions. But again, the government's lax enforcement of traffic laws has been interpreted by many as freedom to bend break the rules.

I would suggest starting a safety campaign to remind the public about common traffic laws and their consequences, perhaps through the newspapers, billboards and other public notice points. Warn the people that tougher enforcement is on the way. If such a campaign is executed correctly and expediently, the government cannot be held at fault for doing their job and the public can't rightfully complain about clubbing tactics.

Perhaps we'll see safer, less crowded streets in the near future. That would be a nice change.


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