Mini-Mart Exit is Bad Luck for Driver

The in basket: Lea Curtis wonders about the traffic controls around the AM-PM Mini-Mart where Highway 308 intersects Viking Way west of Keyport.
She was hit by an uninsured driver who was coming in the exit at the northeast corner of the store last December. Twelve days later, the same thing almost happened again. A driver came in the exit and nearly hit Lea as she tried to leave.
“If I wasn’t being cautious because of my prior incident, we most definitely would have collided and it would have been worse because of her speed,” Lea said. “I was so surprised that someone else would do such a dumb thing, especially when there is a vehicle coming through!”


The in basket: Lea Curtis wonders about the traffic controls around the AM-PM Mini-Mart where Highway 308 intersects Viking Way west of Keyport.
She was hit by an uninsured driver who was coming in the exit at the northeast corner of the store last December. Twelve days later, the same thing almost happened again. A driver came in the exit and nearly hit Lea as she tried to leave.
“If I wasn’t being cautious because of my prior incident, we most definitely would have collided and it would have been worse because of her speed,” Lea said. “I was so surprised that someone else would do such a dumb thing, especially when there is a vehicle coming through!”
As she stewed over the fact the other driver barely acknowledged the close call, yet another driver came in the exit, also missing her.
The out basket: This is a complicated location. A triangular concrete island creates a right in-right out expectation, and a white line painted around the island creates a possible “driving off the roadway” situation for those who cut it close enough to cross into the space between the island and the stripe.
A bent “Do Not Enter” sign is bolted quite high to the back of a stop sign that is intended for drivers exiting there in the opposite direction.
But ordinary traffic laws usually aren’t enforceable on private property. Where private property adjoins the public roadway, it often comes down to whether a government did the signing and striping or the property owner did.
When it’s the property owner, the signs and stripes serve only to assign blame for insurance claims or for prosecution of a serious traffic offense like vehicular assault or homicide, not for ordinary traffic citations.
There’s no cross-hatching on Highway 308 to prohibit left turns into either the exit or the seemingly right-in-only entrance there. And the odd position of the Do No Enter sign and the fact it’s bent suggest that it wouldn’t be enforceable for tickets.
Brian George of the local State Patrol detachment notes a clause in state law which reads, “No provision of this chapter for which official traffic control devices are required shall be enforced against an alleged violator if at any time and place of the alleged violation an official device is not in proper position and sufficiently legible or visible to be seen by an ordinarily observant person.”

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