Slow down for safety

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 31, 2002

We understand that the City of Andalusia has begun to crack down on the speeders. We cannot commend our police enough for their preventative measures. Not a day goes by that we do not hear of, see, or experience a speed-related accident in this county.

And now, more than ever, it is important for us to slow down. On August 7, school begins and with it, school traffic. Our drivers, having grown accustomed to dodging construction vehicles and workers, detours, and torrential rains, will now have to add children to the mix.

On foot or on bikes, children share a common factor. Most do not yet think along the lines of action and consequence - when they want to cross the road, they cross the road. They dart out, the push each other, they weave from sidewalk to highway on their bicycles. When they do not automatically look for the dangers of traffic, we must do it for them.

We need to anticipate their sudden actions and be prepared

– and we can't do that if we are driving too fast, whether on wet highways around construction, or on a dry, unobstructed street.

We are faced with many more months of roadwork - all designed to make our roads safer. While the roadwork progresses however, the driving hazards are increased. Construction workers take their lives in their hands every time they step out onto the fresh pavement and have to contend with speeders careening through the site. The police, the deputies, the state troopers – all of those who respond to emergencies – face dangers as soon as they hit the road. We do not need to contribute to those dangers simply because we are running a few minutes late for a meeting.

Once behind the wheel of a car, we are behind the wheel of a potential weapon. Steel and glass are unforgiving when they meet the frailty of human flesh. Driving is a responsibility and it is the driver's responsibility to drive safely. Slow down, look around, and be ready for the unexpected.