I’ve notice more motorists running red lights, failing to yield, driving unregistered, uninspected and uninsured vehicles, not to mention driving with their heads down, presumably texting or some other task that distracts.

These statistical phenomena create a larger problem: I call it a desensitized lawlessness. This cumulative entitlement has lead to our inability to sustain a sense of community, at the most basic level.

Some people tend not to own their choices, using garden variety excuses: I’m stressed, having a bad day, that yield sign’s in the wrong place, police are entrapping us.

Ultimately, poor choices are raw model material for little backseat passengers, who one day will drive. Hopefully, they’re in safety devices in case of unexpected, unlikely events, not their parent’s driving.

There’s a greater connection to be made or lesson to be learned here — other than just obeying traffic law. To address the issue, a parent at a recent board meeting made the following suggestion:

How about we assess and grade communities, where the true challenges lie, rather than schools, and then we can work together to fix them. Following basic protocols, set to protect us all, seems like a good place to start.

Here’s the takeaway: Next time we want to vilify municipal employees doing their jobs, blaming them for all society’s ills, I suggest we look beyond useless excuses. Instead, look to ourselves, thinking, with such statistics kept and communities ranked by them, would I want to live in such a place — where it’s more likely I’ll be in car crashes, with people whose insurance lapsed, where they’re fewer municipal staff for emergency services?

Still considering lawlessness on the road? Consider this: Next time you run a red light, think about how three seconds of lawlessness affects others, maybe your own child, riding in another car at that precise moment. They should have every right to think it’s safe to travel under a green traffic light.

Jo Ann Larino-Greves, Augusta