Larry Jacobs

Officer Jacobs, can you please make me a better driver?

Sure, it would be my pleasure.

The first thing you should do is to slow down.

There is very little time saved if you drive 90 mph instead of 60 mph.  What you do gain is the chance that you may kill yourself or someone else when you lose control of your car.  You also risk some serious speeding tickets and your insurance company dropping you.

Remember, speed limits have a purpose. They are not just suggestions.

Next, I would use the blinkers your car came with and use them when you are supposed to.  Use them when turning or changing lanes.

While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about changing lanes.

I have mentioned this before, but it’s worth saying again: When changing lanes, put on your blinker before and not after you start changing lanes.

Also, do not assume that because you have your blinker on, you can just cut another drive off.  Basically, you are asking permission to change lanes. You must wait until it is safe to do so.

Next, I would remind you to stop for school busses.  Why?  Lots of reasons: it’s the law, it involves children, and the consequences of not stopping can be serious.  If the school bus is using its yellow warning lights, it does not mean you should push the gas pedal to the floor.  It means prepare to stop.

Speaking of stopping, it’s obvious you stop if you are going the same direction as the bus.  If you are going the opposite way, you must stop if there is no physical median.  If there is a physical median, you do not have to stop. But common sense says to still use due regard and to look for kids darting across the road.

I hope these suggestions make you a better driver.

Good Luck.

Officer Larry Jacobs is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department.  He can be reached at ljacobs@sandyspringsga.gov.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.