Letters to the Editor: L.A.’s fundamental traffic safety problem? Road users hate each other. Why can’t we all get along?
March 19, 2008
By Daniel L. Schmitt
Citing the “War on Terror,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stated, “the war on terror is a war on motorists.” The same mayor also has declared that pedestrians should not be allowed to cross busy streets without traffic lights.
Mayor Villaraigosa is an advocate of traffic lights. However, after 9/11 he started calling for a “war on terrorists.” The mayor also wants to make it illegal for parents or guardians to walk with small children on crosswalks.
Since 9/11, the number of pedestrians and drivers running red lights or walking on the sidewalk has increased dramatically. This can be explained by the mayor’s war on terrorism. Mayor Villaraigosa is simply trying to force all people to stop running red lights or walking on the sidewalk.
The main cause of this traffic problem is not terrorism. It is not the mayor’s war on terrorism. It is our war on motor vehicles. Motor vehicles create the traffic problem.
Every day, thousands of vehicles run red lights. Yet many believe that the problem is caused by car makers. To solve the traffic problem, we need to change the way we look at automobiles and their operation. Instead of talking about car manufacturers, Mayor Villaraigosa should talk about car drivers and the drivers in general. We need to talk about drivers’ rights. Drivers must be free of traffic lights and other road problems.
Our automobile industry, which has become a business, doesn’t care what the mayor or the government wants. The auto industry does not build the streets. Drivers do. In fact, drivers are the ones who make the streets.
The mayor and other government officials should not try to force drivers to obey traffic lights. Instead, they should talk to drivers about their rights. Drivers must