To the Editor:
With regard to your news story "Are cops making a pest of themselves in Maggie Valley?" (Feb. 29 Smoky Mountain News), our answer is a resounding "no."
My husband and I are Maggie Valley residents who regularly travel Soco Road. We witness people breaking the law every single day.
The speed limit in the heart of the valley is 35 mph. It is not unusual for vehicles to pass through doing 45 or 50 mph. We have observed some drivers exceeding 65 along the 45 mph stretch to Jonathan Creek.
Despite clearly marked right-of-ways and neon yellow signage, these folks rarely stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. You'd actually think they were in crosshairs, the way they seem to take aim and speed up.
As for people walking on sidewalks, it's not much better. I saw a family of four get sideswiped last month. Thankfully, they had good reflexes (no injuries). I found it most disturbing that the driver involved was completely oblivious to the near-miss.
Many of these in-a-hurry drivers also exhibit aggressive behavior. They follow too closely, use the middle turn lane to pass people already speeding in the left lane and occasionally make obscene finger gestures at drivers who obey the speed limit.
As for people who drink and then get behind the wheel, it happens frequently in Maggie Valley, especially during evening hours and on weekends. It shouldn't.
Whether it's down to poor personal scheduling habits, unwise choices at the bar, a brazen disregard for the law or simple distracted driving, it directly effects the safety of others on the road as well as pedestrians.
Chief Sutton and his officers are doing the right thing: They are protecting and serving to the greater good.
The Maggie Valley Police Department is improving safety for all with the visual reminder that they are here, and that there will be consequences. And their presence in Maggie Valley is greatly appreciated.
Jennifer and Chris Allen