Have you driven on Interstate 95 or our regional highways lately? If you’re like me, having been mostly off the roads the past 14 months, you’ve noticed that what little civility was present on our roadways was also lost to the pandemic. Both the National Safety Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have documented worsening driving behaviors over the span of the pandemic resulting in more fatalities, in particular for people of color (”MVA: Pandemic reduced traffic but raised traffic deaths,” May 14).
As our roadways once again fill with traffic as return to more typical work patterns, our region needs a driving behavior reset. While no one would claim pre-pandemic driving was idyllic, regional transportation agencies, highway patrols and local law enforcement officers have a responsibility to help bring about that reset. From highway board messaging to visible speed traps to rubberneck-inducing pullovers for reckless driving, we all need reminders to reduce speed, use blinkers, share the road and otherwise act like somewhat civilized drivers again.
When the drivers obeying the traffic laws (traveling near the speed limit, for example) are the hazard on the roads, it’s clear we’ve lost control of an already dangerous situation.
Stephen Roth, Savage
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