Traffic Safety Observations:  I had a hard time deciding what to write about this month, but after driving around this past week and fearing for my life, plus talking to a friend who had an accident on the roundabout at Buena Vista and El Camino, I have chosen to do a refresher on some driving basics here in The Villages.

New traffic lights have been installed at a few locations, including at Morse Blvd. and 466 where accidents have been a common occurrence.  There is a separate green arrow for turning left now, and once that green arrow turns red, the solid green light is for either going straight or turning right.  NO LEFT TURNS WITHOUT THE GREEN ARROW.  At that location and also on 466, I saw cars illegally turning left on red.  Please don’t do that!  Another problem that is common is vehicles not knowing who has the right of way.  Some cars, when they do have the right of way, will wave a golf cart to go in front of them, especially at gates, and this is dangerous.  I’ve even seen cars stop and wave a golf cart across where there is a golf cart crossing on a major, busy road.  Cars traveling on roads have the right of way over golf carts waiting to cross over.  It may seem polite, but it causes confusion and accidents.  Also, at four way stops, the first person there has the right of way; if there are multiple cars waiting in line, those going straight go first, then those turning right, then left hand turners.  If in doubt, yield and be polite with those hand gestures.

When it comes to roundabouts, pay attention to the arrows and whether or not the dividing lines are solid or not.  Stay in your lane and cross to the inside or outside lanes only where the traffic lines are not solid, use your blinkers to make others aware of your intentions and to be on the lookout for the intentions of others, and drive defensively.  It’s a bit of jungle out there, but with those few rules to go by, we can survive!

Most of all, be a courteous and cautious driver who is aware of the special challenges of sharing the road with other senior drivers whose reaction times are not always what they should be, and who can forget they are not the only vehicle on the planet.

On behalf of our great North Area,
Jan Palmer,