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L.A. Drivers

June 22, 1987

I am continually amazed and distressed at the body politic that we call the Los Angeles driver.

My powers are inadequate to describe him, but to a man (and woman) he seems to be late, greedy, discourteous, and contemptuous of others. He has little interest in nor understanding of the mechanics of the operation of his vehicle; on city streets he spends a remarkable percentage of his time in high acceleration or hard wheel braking, apparently with the misguided notion that he will arrive somewhere much earlier than otherwise.

One may determine the speed limit almost anywhere by assuming it is 85% of the speed of the traffic flow. And, I almost rear-ended a car the other day because the driver had the audacity to STOP at a stop sign!

I see very little police supervision of traffic. When prowl cars are in evidence they are usually stopped somewhere or passing traffic.

Each time I go to San Diego I am impressed with the traffic there; it is much more sane. Hardly anyone speeds on city streets; full stops at signs are routine. Drivers are much more courteous. And, police presence seems no more in evidence than it is here. I find this condition to prevail in Santa Monica, also. Very noticeable, and very pleasant.

I wonder what can account for this? Perhaps Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates could enlighten us.

L.D. SMITHEY

Pacific Palisades

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