In a letter to the editor on April 17, Phillip Gerlt beat me to the punch on a subject I’d been meaning to write about: the many drivers in Sedalia who don’t use their turn signals.

I’ve lived in several cities, but I‘ve never seen such disregard for the turn signal as I see in Sedalia.

Based on my observations, I‘d conservatively estimate that 30 to 40 percent of local drivers fall into that category. I’m rarely out and about that I don’t see motorists turning without bothering to let the driver behind them know it so he can cut his speed if necessary.

Considering that the turn signal was invented in 1938 by the Buick Division of General Motors, you’d think drivers would be familiar with it after 81 years. But many don’t seem to know it’s there — or care.

As a means of remedying this situation, I would suggest that the City Council ask the Missouri State Highway Patrol to host classes at their facility on the Fairgrounds. The course should be titled “Introduction to the Turn Signal.”

Some of the topics to be covered should include:

• Function of the turn signal.

• Location of the turn signal lever.

• Turning right.

• Turning left.

• Going straight.

• Meaning of the blinking turn signal arrow on your dashboard.

But, you’re probably asking, would drivers who need the class bother to take it? Maybe the Sedalia Police could pull over every driver who fails to signal a turn (which is a traffic offense, by the way, Sec. 58-138 to be specific). But instead of handing him or her a ticket, give them a class-admission slip — attendance mandatory.

Now I know none of that is going to happen. But if drivers who could benefit from it will read this column, it will have served its modest purpose.

• • • 

My April 20 column on the crisis on our southern border prompted a letter to the editor stating the migrant caravans were refugees, and therefore should be accepted into the country.

In search of an official take on this subject, I contacted U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s office in Washington and received the following reply:

“Determining which of those seeking asylum are legitimate refugees is a difficult task. While a court in San Francisco recently ruled that any individual seeking refugee status must be allowed to enter the country, a panel of the Ninth Circuit [Federal Appeals Court] overruled that judge . . . saying there is nothing wrong with having individuals wait in Mexico until their cases have been determined. Congresswoman Hartzler supports appropriate vetting of would-be refugees to ensure they are . . . not criminals involved in human trafficking, drug trafficking or other illegal activities.”

 

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