I am dedicating this month’s article to Stop signs in particular. Special thanks to Chuck Stump, one of my Senior Patrol Officers, for the following article.

With a title stolen from the aviation writer Earnest Gann and based on his comments regarding the need for constant vigilance, much of his idea can be accurately applied to life in SaddleBrooke.

A comment frequently heard from some SaddleBrooke residents when confronted about an HOA Rules and Regulations violation, “I’ve lived here (supply any number from 10 to 35) years and never had a problem with (said violation).

Now while the statement by the resident might be completely accurate, it doesn’t mean that said problem will never result in an accident or injury, only that it hasn’t happened YET. An old saying in the aviation field is “the further you are from your last accident/incident, the closer you are to your next one.”

Unfortunately, escape from previous accidents or injuries does not guarantee that the next Rules/Regulations violation will not result in an accident or injury. Fate has a way of surprising one when least expecting it and it only takes one minor slip, miscalculation, or failure to execute one step in a sequence of events to result in that accident or injury. Thus, the need for constant vigilance.

One resident stated, upon being stopped for failure to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, “I always look both ways and if there is nothing coming, I don’t see a need to stop.” Of course, that one time the resident only glances in one direction without completely stopping and looking carefully, is the one time they miss the bicyclist coming very fast down the multiuse lane. With any luck, an accident will be avoided, but…then again maybe not this time.

Past good behavior/luck/fate or whatever, does not accrue like interest in a bank account. Twenty, thirty, or sixty years of driving without an accident, does not provide a security blanket for this one misjudgment.

The driving rules and regulations in SaddleBrooke are there for the safety of all residents, visitors, guests, renters and employees. Enforcement of those rules and regulations are carried out to protect the safety of everyone.

Consider the person who just failed to see the bicyclist coming down the multiuse lane, thought they were clear to go ahead and pull through the stop sign without stopping and then hit the bicyclist, causing injury or death. Twenty, thirty, or sixty years of safe driving will not undo that accident, and the driver will have to live with that the rest of their life. Unfortunately, there is no advance warning of a ‘fateful’ encounter. Fate is like a two-sided coin. It can land either way and there is no way of knowing which way it will land. Next time, how will fate treat you? Will you have another incident where the coin falls in our favor, but then again what if that coin falls the other way for the person failing to stop at the same intersection? Again, the need for constant vigilance…even if you are in the right!

Patrol Statistics for 2020

Listed below are all of the types of points that we take care of on each shift 24/7. This is a small snapshot of what your Patrol does all year long.

  • Calls to Patrol Vehicle 4581 Direct calls to Patrol for assistance
  • Resident Assists 994 Patrol answered resident concerns
  • Facility Checks 17992 On all 3 shifts all year
  • Vacation Checks 5814 Checked resident homes while they were away
  • Incidents Reported 78 Car accidents, golf cart accidents, emergency calls, property
  • Damage, thefts, fire, injuries, and trespassing.

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