LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Driver's training needed

May 17, 2012


First, while going to pick up my granddaughter from her bus stop, I saw the aftermath of a car/motorcycle accident on Leonard near 152nd. Hopefully, those injuries are not too serious and the motorcycle rider recovers. The car driver was clearly at fault and was simply not paying attention.

Next, at the bus stop, a small blue car passed the stopped bus that was letting out kids on Leonard. The red lights were flashing and this clown just chose to ignore them. I can only hope the buses in this district have cameras so these people can be prosecuted.

Third, while going back to M-104 along Lake Street, a bicyclist was crossing M-104 in the lane approaching traffic. Bicyclists must be in the same lane as traffic, not in the lane facing traffic. Don't they teach this stuff anymore? By some recent letters to the editor and the responses on the Tribune's website, apparently not.

Finally, and the topper of the day, was while coming back from Orchard Market west on M-104 at Lake again, I needed to turn south on Lake. I entered the left-turn lane, and a woman in an SUV traveling east on M-104 decided to turn into RiteAid or the bakery (they share a common entrance). She proceeded to cross the double yellow line and park in the westbound left-turn lane to wait for traffic to clear. The problem was that she was now in front of me in my legally acquired left-turn lane and blocking all turning traffic, and is pretty heavy there. She refused to go around, so I was forced to re-enter, moving traffic to go around her and get back into my lane.

Double yellow lines mean something: do not cross. If there is a double yellow, you must turn from the lane you are in, not enter the turn lane for opposing traffic.

— Bob Foster, Spring Lake Township



oh how I agree with you!!! I am so sick of people who are ignorant on the road & think they can do whatever they want. It might have to do with drivers training, or people who dont even take it & just take the test because Im sure not everything is covered on that test. I think its just that people dont care what they do & how they drive. In Grand Haven, Mercury Dr now has a turn lane all the way down it so a solid yellow & then a dotted yellow line in the middle. Well people think they can pass people on that street, but you are not supposed to cross a solid yellow. & there are NEVER cops sitting on Mercury & people do it ALL the time!! Also, going to work this morning some jerk was behind me on Mercury, then onto Comstock & I was going the speed limit, which is 45 on both streets, well this guy is riding my butt the entire time, so he decides to FLY around me, literally, & apparently he thought the speed limit was 70 on there because he got so far ahead of me. Then he got stopped at the light on 168th so I caught up to him & he was turning left, which is the way I was turning & theres shops all along 168th, well this guy, being the idiot that he is, wasnt happy with how people were driving because you have to stop for people to turn into shops & wait for oncoming traffic so they can turn into the lots, well he whips over into the oncoming traffic lane & tries to pass more people who were waiting to turn, only to find out there was a car coming so he had to wait. Im sorry but if you're in that big of a hurry to get to work, maybe you shouldve left 5 minutes earlier so you wouldnt have to drive like a jacka**. & I also love the people who think they need to pull right out infront of someone going the speedlimit & then they dont know where their gas pedal is so you have to slam on your brakes so you wont hit the morons! People just dont care, thats all there is to it. But in my opinion, so people remember the "rules of the road" every so many years, you should HAVE to take drivers training again!!


Nine out of ten times I come across these crazy drivers, they have a phone stuck to their ear.


Well first of all drivers training is a rip off and a joke these days. You have instructors telling kids that they never do 70mph on the highway, cause it is unsafe to drive that fast. Well I am pretty sure that they wouldn't have the speed limit posted at that, if it wasn't safe. If that is the way people feel, stay off the highway and take back roads everywhere. They are nothing but a hazard for people doing the speed limit. Next I agree everyone should take a drivers test every couple of years. This renewing your license by mail is a joke. They make teenagers jump through hoops to get their licenses, but we have elderly that have not been tested in 40+ years tooling around on the roads. Talk about a hazard. They are just as bad or worse than new teenage drivers. Drivers training is a scam and just a way to make money. Then the drivers tests are a joke as well. No standards at all there. No oversight or anything.


Im 25 & have had to renew my license a couple times, just this month too & have never been able to renew by mail. this time the thing said they couldnt verify my SS # which is such garbage & that I had to bring my card in when I went. well the lady didnt look at my card, alls she did was ask me to write it on my renewal paper! I was ticked


If they are a joke why should we take them every couple of years? I think you are contradicting yourself. Besides the government already gets enough of our money. If a person has a bad driving record perhaps they should be tested but why penalize those of us that are good drivers? Most of the idiocy I have seen on the roads is due to a cell phone stuck to the ear. I can think of other places the phones should be stuck! It should be illegal to use cell phones while driving in MI. Many other states have adopted this law.


It's pretty simple: Pay attention while driving. Be respectful to other drivers. Slower traffic stays in right lane on multi-lane roads. If we'd all just do that - things would be much better on the road.

My sense is that the issue isn't so much the training that people receive - it's more likely about the student not paying attention, and the sense of "me first" that tends to rule the day that is causing these frustrations.


To be fair I believe the "entrance" to the left hand turn lane for Lake street begins after the entrance for the bakery/RiteAid (based on driving westbound). So perhaps Mr. Foster made a driving mistake as well by entering the left hand turn lane to early.

However I agree with the overall view point of the artice. To many people either not paying attention, not knowing the rules, or simply not caring.

Bob Foster

The double yellow goes beyond the entrance and the left turn onto Lake starts at that spot. The only way an east bound vehicle can get into the RiteAid or bakery is to turn from their lane or to enter the opposing turn lane. Traffic was heavy at that time of day and I waited to legally enter the turn lane for 3 or 4 lights.

Thanks for your other thoughts.


We go through Driver's Training at 15 years old. That is it for the rest of your life!

No reviews, no additional training, no updating!

How can this be acceptable?

We have added all kinds of fancy equipment to our cars such as anti-lock brakes, which I hear all the time that people do not know how it works or how to use it. We have started to add traffic circles to our roads. How many people know how to use them?

How many people think that "Yellow" means floor it and go like heck? Instead of "do not enter the intersection once the light has turned yellow if you cna stop safely"!

How many people think the "Speed Limit" is a God given right, and get out of my way if you choose to drive slightly under that LIMIT?

How many people are not aware that it is perfectly legal for bicycles to be on the road?

I could go on! It really is a shame we try to throw technoolgy at issues and do not give the operator of the vehicle the training to use those systems. As the roads get more crowded, because we are preventing any alternative use of the roads, we must get more courteous and follow the rules more closely, not get more angry and vindictive.


My favorite is the four way stop. Nobody seems to know how those work anymore. Here is the refresher so next time you're not the one sitting there with a blank stare thinking, is it my turn yet? when you pull up to a stop sign and there is a car on the other side that is going straight and you are turning left, they go first then you can turn! not vise versa. Wait your turn! The person turning left goes last!!


A State Trooper once defined it for me: The order of progrssion has nothing to do with the direction you intend to go after stopping, it is all based on the time of arrival at the stop. If there is a tie, then the one of the right has the right of way. If you still can't determine, clearly, then make eye contact, wave, flash your lights.
Where the dificulty comes in, is when people try and roll through, or stop several car lengths ahead of the proper stopping point, either the stop line or next to the stop sign, then the whole deal becomes ambiguous and no one knows how to deal with it.
Make your intentions clear, signal your intentions, and drive with respect for others on the road.


In some states its the law and should be here! 9 out of 10 times when I encounter these idiots driving slower than the speed of traffic in the passing lane they either have a cell phone glued to their ear or worse; they are passive aggressives playing their stupid little games! I have actually seen these morons speed up if you attempt to go around them in order to "keep you in your place" and this should be a reckless driving offense. The highway is NO PLACE for games and if you are one of these people SHAME ON YOU; you are putting yourself and others in danger!!!


Seriously, there is too much distraction and poor attitudes in all drivers. I firmly believe that every car sold in the US should be a stick shift / carburetor vehicle. That way you will need to at least concentrate on driving the car using some sort of co-ordination and attention. Cars that park themselves are the worst sort of progress I can imagine!!


We as a community need to get these kids in the Drivers Ed classroom and off their damn cell phones!! The cell phones cause 90% of these mishaps!


I hope there should be a traffic enforcer who will look out on that place. They should really give sanction to those who will violate the rules. - Mercy Ministries


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