There is a growing and gathering danger on the streets of Yakima. Frankly, this menace seems to follow me everywhere I go. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think so. This is why I'm exposing this today. To see if, you too, have been plagued with: TAILGATERS!

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That's right, Tailgaters. Not the kind who set up outside of a sports event and grill brats and slurp beer and make nachos and play corn-hole and dress beer bottles up like living, breathing sports figures.

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No. I mean those @#$%&!*+&!! drivers who insist on following way too close! THOSE Tailgaters. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what their problem is. When I notice someone tailgating me I ask myself if I am  going below the speed limit? Am I in the wrong lane? Are they trying to read my bumper sticker? Do they suffer from abandonment and simply want to feel close to someone?

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Like many people, I take the same route to and from the office each day. Sometimes a couple of times per day if I go home for lunch. Lately, there is a repeat offender tailgater who shares this same common route - and it's almost as though he is just watching for me to come by so that he can cozy-up behind me. I even drove out of my usual route and he just kept right behind me. Was he trying to prove a point? Was he hoping to provoke road rage? Was he hypnotized by my trunk emblem? I may never know.

What I DO know is: I wasn't travelling below the speed limit. On Summitview between 40th and 16th Avenue - the posted speed limit is 30 MPH. As any law enforcement officer will tell you, that's not a suggestion, it's the law. I cruise at a consistent 32 MPH. Not too slow to rudely slow my fellow drivers down, not too fast as to get a speeding ticket (I did get one of those in 1989 but challenged it and won).

If you traverse that area with any frequency, you know that some people, feel the need for speed and insist on going 40 MPH or more on that stretch. It's insane. Residential area with lots of kids and pets and joggers -- plagued by NASCAR wannabees.

My youngest daughter just got her license a year and a half ago, I remember seeing in her handbook when she was studying, that the recommendation for 3 to 6 seconds of lag time between you and the car in front of you - depending upon speed. In my day (dang that sounds like my grandfather) we were taught ONE car length for every 10 MPH. So, 3 car lengths for 30, 6 for 60, etc. That gives you ample time to stop.

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The result of following too close can be serious. You could get a ticket. You could cause an accident or even cause harm or death for you or someone else. So, slow down. Enjoy the drive. Relax. And, if you happen to be the one tailgating me on Summitview -- I'm the guy who slows down from 32 to EXACTLY 30, and then take my right turn up my street -- very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY slowly.

Because - 'Merica.