To the Editor:
My family and I were returning home from the movies after midnight on Dec. 27.
We were the only vehicle traveling on West Elms Road when suddenly a vehicle was coming up behind us at a such a high rate of speed, I screamed “he’s going to hit us” as the car advanced closely on our bumper as if it would rear-end us.
After tailing us briefly, the vehicle moved into the left-turn lane and continued its high speed. Fearing that this was a drunk driver, I told my daughter who was driving not to get in the turn lane until the reckless vehicle passed.
As the vehicle sped past, I saw it was KPD Unit 1344. In accordance with the law, the patrol car stopped at the red turn light and proceeded to turn left onto Robinett Road once the signal turned green and then right onto Edgefield Drive.
I was amazed that despite its erratic driving, the patrol car waited at the light, where the two of us were the only vehicles in either direction.
I called KPD to tell them of the incident and received the response “it wasn’t a drunk driver because the car was clearly marked.” Reckless operation of a vehicle, following too close and passing in a turning lane are all against the law for regular citizens. However, for police apparently it’s justified even when the “emergency does not require the patrol car’s lights.”
While I understand that the lights were not on, I do not understand why our lives were put at risk. If my daughter would have proceeded into that turning left lane, we would have collided with the police car and six people, including the officer, could have faced serious to fatal injuries.
Being that we were the only car on the road, the patrol car could have safely passed on the right.
The story of citizens being killed or injured as well as officers en route to calls happens almost every day throughout cities and towns across America. Where does safety begin? After a tragedy? Are there double-standards when it comes to citizens and KPD?