I recently returned from visiting a friend in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. While I was there, I overheard the following phone call my friend made to the Police Department.

“Hello, my name is Mrs. Griffin and I live on Lilac Lane. As I’m sure you know, this is a small street and drivers often use it as a shortcut to North Street.

“We are a very close-knit community and we really look after each other. There are quite a few children, bikes, dogs, cats and folks who use walkers and cane. Two people have to use wheelchairs.

“Lately, we’ve become very anxious, as cars drive erratically down our street and we have real concerns about safety.”

“I certainly understand your concerns, Mrs. Griffin. My name is Officer Simonds, and this is a problem that we’ve been working on for several months.”

“My grandson wonders if it’s possible that these drivers may have had a bit too much to drink. He explained DWI and OUI to me.”

“I can understand that, Mrs. Griffin. You should know that we’ve recently established a new department to work on this issue.”

“Is there someone I should call?”

“Yes, Mrs. Griffin, just call our regular number and ask for the DWAP Department.”

” ‘DWAP’? What does that mean? I’ve never heard of it, and neither has my grandson.”

“It stands for ‘Driving While Avoiding Potholes.’ ”

C.B. Mills