Saturday, September 29, 2007

Did I Miss Something?

Was I away when obeying the law was made optional? Especially if it was personally convenient or expedient to do otherwise.

For years, decades, I've been under the impression that when a traffic signal is red, it means stop. Stop and wait until the light goes to green before proceeding.

Apparently, this has changed.

While walking through the neighborhood the other morning, I observed the following:

A vehicle west bound on Market Street approached the intersection with Jackson Street. The light was red for the traffic on Market Street. The operator stopped the vehicle...momentarily...and then proceeded through the intersection and on his or her way.

"Interesting approach to a red light," I thought.

And then I observed two more cars do the exact same thing in what I can only presume was a case of "monkey see, monkey do."

I guess the law just doesn't apply to these individuals.

Now Mill Hill residents have been on a crusade to slow traffic down on Market Street and decrease the frequent running of red-lights. It could be argued that this new "stop and go" approach is an improvement. But it still violates the law every bit as much as just blowing through a light.

Another example of ignoring the law for personal convenience: barking dogs.

This is not a reference to dogs who bark occasionally. This is what dogs do.

It becomes a problem when a dog is left to bark, non-stop at all hours of the day and/or night until it becomes a distraction and annoyance to everyone within earshot (except, apparently the owners). And it can't be good for the dog.

For the past several weeks a residents of the northern end of Mill Hill have been treated to this annoyance at all hours of the night. Three in the morning, 6 in the morning, 8 at night, it doesn't seem to matter to the dog's owners. They banish the pooch to the porch and the rest of the neighborhood have to deal with the noise.

How do people get to point where they can ignore not only the well-being of the dog, but the restrictions on noise in the city ordinances and common courtesy as well? Do they not understand that "following the rules" is not optional behavior, but optimal behavior if we are to live, work and play in successful community?

Or was I absent the day they changed that fact?


Tangential to the subject of following the law, New Jersey Governor Corzine signed into law this week a bill aimed at closing a loophole that prevented law enforcement agencies from effectively cracking down on residents with automobiles registered out of state.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner in an effort to increase compliance with the existing, if faulty, statute.

One has to wonder though, is enacting a new law to enforce an existing law really going to be effective? If people are prone to ignore one law, aren't they going to be equally inclined to ignore others aimed at changing the same behavior?

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