April 02, 2007
Forget the Ticket, Shoot 'em
Ok, maybe that's a bit harsh. But for some reason I thought we already ticketed the drivers of vehicles trying to cut their way into ferry lines. Apparently we don't, the Legislature is trying to remedy that.
Set aside for a moment that such a penalty is as overdue as the bill moving through the Legislature to increase consequences for car thieves. Anyone who has ever sat in the lengthy ferry lines that are all too common place in the Puget Sound area can grasp the massive annoyance factor involved here. Indeed,
"This is road rage beyond road rage. I had one person tell me how he jumped up and down on somebody's hood because they crowded in front of him," Haugen said. "You sit in line for an hour or two and somebody crowds in front of you, and they get on [the ferry] and you don't. There are some rather strong feelings."
"Strong feelings." That's more subtle than my thinking. If I had someone say this, "'I can do whatever I want to do, this is a free country'" to me after cutting into a long line I might be tempted to show them how in a "free country" the physics of a baseball bat meeting a car windshield can be immensely amusing depending on one's point of view.
At the very least, Charles Krauthammer's indispensable advice might have to come into play.
Ignoring for a minute my inner, angry white man, this change in policy seems grossly overdue. Cutting in a long ferry line is uncouth and should be directly punishable as a regulated portion of our state highway system. At minimum, make the fine higher...though I suppose we can take a rain check on the shooting.
Posted by Eric Earling at April 02, 2007
07:35 PM | Email This
1. It happened to me once in Keystone when the ferries only ran every 1-1/2 hours. The guy that cut-in saved himself 2 ferries or 3 hours.
Myself & 2 drivers that witnessed it went to the ferry ticket-taker & he refused to do anything. He told us to call the cops. We did...the cop finally showed up and told the guy not to do it again. A stern tongue-lashing!
But the guy still saved 3 hours.
2. Paintball guns in every car. When someone cuts you off, is driving 53 in the fast lane, doesn't know how to merge, etc. Open up on em with paintballs.
This will serve as a "Scarlet Letter" as well since the worse drivers will be covered with more bio-degradable and environmentally sensitive paint.
3. "We're not going to be out there with our ticket book writing unlimited tickets," he said. The proposed law, he said, "will let everybody know this is unacceptable behavior. We hope this will be somewhat of a deterrent."
House Transportation Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, said the bill is a Northwest kind of thing to do: "It's a nice, polite bill. We'd like everybody to be polite and play by the same rules."
Why not solve a very Washingtonian problem with a very Washingtonian solution? Don't prosecute anyone for cutting in line, ever; just ask them politely not to do it again. But when other motorists beat the cheater to a bloody pulp and push his car off the dock and into the water, don't prosecute that, either; just have them attend sensitivity training on the harmful effects of petroleum products on Puget Sound.
4. I ride the ferry once or twice a week, and was once falsely accused of breaking into line by some weekend/tourist travelers who didn't understand the system. So I just hope that there's due process somewhere in this "new" procedure.
5. HT- As with any other infraction, a cop is unlikely to ticket anyone if they can't convince a judge of their guilt. I imagine that means either seeing the infraction or finding enough angry witnesses willing to testify against the asshole in court.
6. Bruce: hope you're right. But would we now just be trusting Government to do the right thing? Somehow that doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.
7. I routinely ride the ferries on my motorcycle and we are allowed to cut to the front as they load motorcycles at the front of the ferry. Last fall I was with a group of about ten bikes up at Keystone on our way to Port Angeles. We bypassed the line and then, in order to get to an area where we could safely park and walk up to the ticket booth, we cut in between two pickup trucks that were waiting in line. Apparently the driver of the second truck didn't know or didn't care that we were allowed to proceed to the front. He suddenly pulled forward, causing one of our bikes to have to swerve violently and jam on the brakes, almost crashing. I agree that cutting in line should be dealt with, although I think its sad that our society has gotten to the point where common courtesy doesn't deal with this stuff, but there also needs to be clear warning that causing injury to others is not acceptable.
8. I think I'b be hauling their butt out of the car to administer a beating....
I live in close proximity of the Kingston ferry dock. This law has been needed for sometime. This will hopefully help the drivers who self police like post # 7 describes to calm down before someone gets hurt.
As a local, we have a hard time getting into town during the Summer months on Sunday afternoon's. I've actually told people in line who block the cross roads they have as long as it takes for me to walk back to my truck and lock the hubs in, before I push their car out of my way and then kick their ass for making me do it.
This law will help, IMHO.
This is a perfect application for the 'Roof-mounted Cannon' as originally shown in 'The Great Race'
Unfortunately, it remains unavailable commercially. Bummer!
This is why "more cops" never solves any problems. Ever notice that cops are rarely on the freeway during commute hours? You don't like to be stuck in traffic, and neither do cops. So a-aholes drive in the HOV lanes as single drivers, cut into merge lanes, whip across many lanes, etc. And there are the motorcycles and cars with "wings" on the back and tuned mufflers that go racing through traffic at 100 miles per hour. We all see this every day, and where are the cops? Nowhere. Ferry lanes are just one more example.
Passing laws doesn't help if there's no enforcement.
At the Fauntleroy and Vashon ferry docks, when we report line jumpers, the ferry dock personnel pull the line jumpers out of line and send them to the back, no questions asked, no appeal.
I have only seen one person refuse to move in 30 years. The rest of us surrounded his car and told him: "You will move, and now!" He moved.
I do not know what the problem is at other docks.
The WSP have details at all the ferry docks. In Kingston they man a token line, no token at the terminal, no ticket. Problem is the 4 miles before the token turn-out lane where the problems occur.
With this rule, the scofflaw will have to answer for their behavior. If we have a 90%+ seat belt compliance, this rule should have the same effect.
14. I would force the line cutters to drink two cups of ferry coffee, but that is likely unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.
I will give credit to the legislature for this law. Cutting in line for a ferry is about the worst thing someone can do in traffic, and it should be against the law. I agree with Eric - the fine should be double, because this behavior can lead to violence.
I get so angry at the drivers who cut in line at the freeway off ramp when clearly there is a line of cars waiting to exit, but at worst that driver cost me a few extra minutes in line. Two or three hours is a much different story. In any case, people who cut in whatever line, at the off ramp or in the ferry line, are the lowest form of human existence.
"I have only seen one person refuse to move in 30 years. The rest of us surrounded his car and told him: "You will move, and now!" He moved."
Geez ivan...you sound like a redneck. What about that line-jumpers feelings? Perhaps he was sexually abused as a child? Perhaps he ate "Twinkees" for breakfast?
ivan...you are such a beast!!
I'll bet you wouldn't tell him to move if he had a John Kerry bumpersticker!
I tell you what ivan, if you & your pal from this picture:
told me to move, I'd jump in the frigid water and swim away like a SOB!
Ivan & his Cherubic Chum could "surround" a Ford Expedition all by themselves!