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Washington Ferry officials received over 2,000 reports of drivers cutting in line

(File, Associated Press)

Cutting in line is one of the greatest affronts to law and order, even if the punishment is usually no more than an angry stare or a polite “Excuse me.” But it’s apparently plaguing the lines for drivers waiting to board Washington State Ferries, reports KIRO7.

Ferry officials received more than 2,000 reports of line-cutting on their “Hero Hotline” in 2017. That’s an uptick of several hundred from the previous year. If you are reported to authorities, you will receive a warning letter in the mail.

“I think the letter in the mail is not enough. I like the street justice that occurs in the ferry line,” said KIRO Radio’s John Curley.

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“I’m not advocating for violence, but a lot of screaming … a lot of public shaming. The public has an opportunity on this one. It just takes one person to go, ‘Hey, he cut!’ And then all of a sudden, people descend upon them. It’s great. It’s like killing a bee and all the other bees come to get you.”

Ferry line-cutting often the result of GPS

In addition to getting shamed, the perp could also wind up with a $136 ticket if a state trooper catches them in the act. Ferry officials say that much of the line-cutting is inadvertent, the result of drivers not knowing where to cue up, or being led down line-bypassing side streets by their GPS.

WSF officials recommend putting the toll both location in your GPS to avoid this, and not the ferry terminal.

“You can blame technology,” said KIRO Radio host Tom Tangney. “But it’s still illegal, even if you don’t intend it.”

Those witnessing line-cutting can call 1-877-764-HERO. While this is the primary method of reporting, WSF officials told KIRO7 that they’ve seen pushing matches, as well as people getting out of their cars and yelling.

Beyond ferries and line-cutting, Curley is bothered by what KIRO reporter Mike Lewis calls the “the devaluing of the word hero.”

“Someone runs into a building and pulls out babies and children and risks their own life and then comes out on fire — that person is a hero,” Curley said.

“But somebody sitting in their car, puts down their latte to call the hero line to tell that someone has cut in line — that person’s a hero as well? We’ve really hurt the term hero if that’s what you are.”

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