Is illegal parking more than a nuisance?

Published 8:44 pm Friday, June 21, 2019


Contributing Columnist

There have been few things that have affected the world as much as the invention of the automobile. Henry Ford and his assembly line production plant made automobiles accessible to the normal working family and thus, created a completely new set of stressors for all of us.

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Few things frustrate me more than other people’s poor driving skills. The failure to use a turning signal, the person that passes you only to then turn off in front of you and of course there are the ones that drive like they are on an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard. As a child, I idolized Bo Duke and swore to grow up just like him. As an adult, however, I find myself trying to avoid these kinds of folks while out on the road. We seem to be confused on how to conduct ourselves while behind the wheel, or maybe it is just a lack of common sense.

If we see a school bus with its stop sign out and they are loading or unloading children, why is it so hard for some to understand to just stop? Basic driving skills tell us that when we see a stop sign — we should stop. The bus is huge and painted bright yellow; no way we can’t see it. I am amazed as well at people’s lack of driving skills when an ambulance comes down the road with its lights blaring. Some drivers that are paying attention pull off to the side of the road to allow the ambulance to pass through. Others just keep right on trucking, and are oblivious to the big truck with the flashing lights that is trying to get around them in order to save someone’s life.

Driving skills is not the only thing that eludes some people. It seems that many people struggle with parking skills just as much. I know that Danville has a huge problem with illegal parking. How many times have you been to Wal-Mart and seen people parked in the fire lane? I see it just about every time I go. One of the biggest problems about fire lane parking, that I have ever seen, is at the Dollar General on Hustonville Road. It seems that the fire lane has become the lazy man’s parking spot. Is it really that difficult to walk an extra few feet from the designated parking lot to the store? In my opinion, there is absolutely no excuse for parking in the fire lane. Unless you are driving a big red truck with ladders and lights on the top, then that lane is not for you. People think they are just going to run in the store for a minute to pick up a quick item and parking in the fire lane is fine. My question is, what happens if while you are in the store picking up a beef jerky, a fire breaks out and the fire truck can’t respond because you are blocking the fire lane? People can die because other people are too lazy to walk across the parking lot. I saw someone the other day pull into a handicapped parking space, and then got out and ran into the store like an Olympic sprinter, while forcing an actual handicapped person to struggle across the parking lot to get to the store. I am of the belief that the law is the law for a reason. There is a need for it, or it wouldn’t exist. Remember, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

Jack Godbey is a resident of Danville and is a published author and historian.