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Please slow down

Slow down.

The country roads surrounding Andalusia, winding through Covington County are picturesque - and dangerous. Often narrow, rarely with shoulders, and even more rarely with lights, the roads pose a definite hazard to all drivers, not merely the young and inexperienced.

Even the most experienced driver can hit a patch of ice or gravel and find themselves losing control of their vehicle.

Even the most experienced driver can become distracted for a moment, or come upon an unexpected turn or dead end.

The secret to survival on these roads, especially at night, is speed - or the lack of it. Speed kills.

The faster you drive, the higher your chances become for an accident. As the speedometer needle progresses, possibility becomes probability and results can be fatal.

Speed limits are posted along some roads, not along others - but the key is "limit". The limit is the maximum allowable speed, not the required speed. On most county roads, unless it is otherwise posted, the speed limit is 45 miles per hour. This may seem low on a bright, clear day with little traffic, but limit is set for a reason - your safety, and the safety of all who share that road with you.

At night, when shadows play tricks with familiar territory, turning it into something unfamiliar and dangerous, the need to slow down becomes imperative. Pedestrians, poles, ditches, wildlife - all can seem to leap out of the darkness, startling the driver into an accident. The faster he is going, the worse the accident will be.

How many times this year will we have to share the grief of survivors? How many loved ones will we lose on dark and twisty roads?

Not all accidents are due to speed or recklessness, of course. Some are unavoidable. All are tragic – all sorrows are real and overwhelming, no matter what the circumstances.

We can lower those numbers by raising our feet – off of the gas pedal. Nothing at the end of the road is worth the end of

life.

Please - slow down.