There's a small sign near the Big Apple on Main Street in Westbrook that was put there some time ago to remind drivers about the rules of the road that they should already know. If they do know the rules, there are enough drivers that don't care and completely ignore the rule that they had to put this sign up in the first place.

This particular Big Apple Store in Westbook sits on the busy corner of Spring and Main Streets. Spring Street begins at the South Portland/Westbrook line which is about half a mile from Running Hill Road near the entrance to Target. A lot of people travel the nearly straight shot out Running Hill, to Spring Street into downtown Westbook, especially during busy commute times.

Traffic is busy, but it flows nicely until William Clark Drive where drivers have two intersections with traffic lights about 400 feet apart. A lot of these drivers lose their patience when they get to the light at Spring and Main Street and will cut through the Big Apple parking lot to avoid a red light. That's where the sign comes in.

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It sits at the entrance to the Big Apple parking lot reminding drivers that it's illegal to cut through a parking lot to avoid a light and they even quote the Maine Statute.

Title 29A, Sec 2057-11 reads: "An operator may not operate a motor vehicle through a parking area to avoid obeying or conforming to the requirements of a traffic control device."

That's pretty straightforward, but to put it in even plainer English, you can't drive through a parking lot to avoid the light. If you do and are caught, you face a fine of $131. The sign at the Big Apple even says "police take notice and video surveillance on premises."  So if they see you do it, they've got you on video and can easily identify you and report you to the police.

Cutting through a parking lot is dangerous since cars and people are moving in all directions in them and if you come barreling through to avoid the light, you could cause an accident. And really, how much time are you saving anyway? 30 seconds at most? Don't be a DB. Just wait for the light.

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