There’s a new local ordinance in Bainbridge that prohibits drivers from “cutting through” parking lots to avoid a stop sign or traffic light.
The genesis for the idea was not about officers writing more tickets, but rather, as an attempt to improve safety for pedestrians and shoppers walking in parking lots.
Sammy Jenkins, who owns Sammy’s Bait and Tackle in Bainbridge, said he asked City Manager Chris Hobby earlier this year what could be done about the problem he has at his store.
“For a long time, I’ve watched people drive through my parking lot to keep from having to turn at the stop sign,” Jenkins said. “It happens a lot in the mornings, when people are in a hurry on their way to work or school.”
The problem is that the cars and trucks who “cut through” treat the pavement between the gas pumps and Sammy’s store as if they were on Pit Road at a NASCAR race.
“When children come into the store, I always tell them to look both ways before they go back to their parents’ car or wherever they walked from,” Jenkins said. “No one’s been hurt yet but I’ve seen a few close calls where people cutting through almost hit a person or a vehicle pulling into the gas pumps.”
While Mr. Jenkins is one of the business owners who suggested the City of Bainbridge adopt an ordinance, there are several businesses in Bainbridge that will hopefully benefit from the change. Any businesses located right on the corner where two roads intersect can be affected by “cutting through.”
Here are few we know of, that could result in traffic tickets if a police officer sees you taking advantage:
- Save Oil, at the corner of West and Louise Streets. Drivers sometimes cut through the parking lot to avoid a red light.
- The Quick Buys on Georgia 97 South / Old Quincy Road. Drivers sometimes cut through the parking lot as a way of making a U-Turn.
- Steve Poitevint’s investment office at Five Points. Drivers sometimes cut through the parking lot as a “shortcut” between Tallahassee Highway and S. Scott Street, which are split at the intersection.
Here’s the full text of the ordinance:
No driver of any motor vehicle, motorcycle, or vehicle of any kind, shall drive through or across any private driveway or private property or public property, such as a gas station or lot, or similar area, whether vacant or not, to avoid any intersection, or obedience to, or regulation by, traffic regulation or control devices set forth in this Title, unless specifically directed to do so by Police or Fire personnel.