I am a resident of Bradley County and read the Cleveland Daily Banner almost daily. I have read many columns written by Jim Ruth praising his officers and his department. I have no problem with most of what he writes. I have one suggestion for improvement. The driving habits of many of his officers are terrible.
I make a left turn from Blackburn onto APD 40 each morning and often the vehicle across the road is doing the same, although with no turn signal in use. All too often the vehicle is a Sheriff’s Office vehicle. This creates the potential for traffic accidents as well as a delay for the person turning left and waiting for the car (without the turn signal) to either go straight through the intersection or turn left.
I have driven this route for seven years now and about half of the time I have been at the intersection across from a Sheriff’s Office vehicle, they have NOT used their turn signals to make a left turn. This occurs at all times of the day or night. I have also seen them make lane changes without using a turn signal. They are just driving normally, not going anywhere quickly, as if on a call.
I believe that all police officers, no matter which department, need to be held to a higher standard. I would have a hard time accepting a traffic ticket from someone who habitually violates traffic laws themselves.
My challenge to Jim Ruth is: Educate your officers to the traffic laws and demand that they follow the laws that they enforce. It will help improve the department image as well as make the roads safer for drivers.
— Linda Jones