Weird weave by WSP car in commuter traffic

The in basket: I saw an odd thing during the regular afternoon backup on Highway 3, near where it intersects Highway 304 west of Bremerton, about 4 p.,m. on Aug. 17.

I was entering from the Loxie Eagans interchange on-ramp and saw a State Patrol car, emergency light flashing, as it weaved back and forth in the two through lanes at a very low speed, from the outside lane to the inside and back, several times. It stopped all the traffic in both lanes and on the on-ramp.

The trooper then pulled to the shoulder, behind a large gray SUV, also with emergency lights flashing, which in turn was behind one of those boxy Scions.

I asked my WSP contact what was going on.

The out basket: I had heard of “rolling slowdowns,” but never seen one. That’s what I saw that afternoon, Trooper Krista Hedstrom tells me.

There were rolling slowdowns announced from time to time on the old Tacoma Narrows bridge during some phases of the construction of the new one, but I could never quite picture how they worked.

The reason for it this time was altogether different, Krista says. Two drivers had reported the Scion as being driven erratically as it moved south. The SUV officer spotted it and tried to pull it over, but the Scion driver wound up stopping  in one of the driving lanes just beyond the Loxie Eagan on-ramp.

So the moving slowdown maneuver was used to keep other traffic out of the way until the Scion was on the shoulder. Then traffic returned to normal.

The driver was arrested for drunken driving and taken to the county jail, Krista said.

That spot is no stranger to rolling slowdowns, she added. They’re occasionally employed when Canada geese, which frequent the shoulder in front of the Bremerton sewer plant, have babies and a bunch of them wander out into the freeway, parents following. Someone tries to heard them back to the shoulder.

It’s not entirely successful, she added, as the number of goslings tends to diminish over time, presumably traffic victims, but it’s worth a try.

One thought on “Weird weave by WSP car in commuter traffic

  1. I had to laugh when I read your article about the weird weave. I just recently moved back to Washington after 9 years in San Diego. I have to say that the police weaving is a common thing in California. They call it rolling road blocks. And they do just that. Weave back and forth across all the lanes to slow traffic down to a total stop. It was really something when I first experienced it in California. Scared the heck out of me. But It prevented us from coming up on a bad accident too fast! I think it is a wonderful idea. And especially in California where the traffic is NUTS…they warn you way ahead of time that something bad is happening up ahead!

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