I was disheartened but not surprised by the suggestions made in a recent letter to the editor about how to reduce traffic deaths (”Rise in traffic deaths: an explanation and a suggestion,” Sept. 16). It’s a perfect example of how self-centered we can be and having what we want at the expense of taking personal responsibility for our actions.
First, mention was made that 55 miles per hour is too slow as a speed limit. No one is getting pulled over for doing 65 in that zone, so that’s not a problem. But the writer doubles down by blaming these motorists for forcing other cars to pass on the slower lanes. In many cases, these passers use no signals and cut off cars. Additionally, when there is a merge from another road, this is very dangerous.
The one example I could not believe was traffic calming. The writer blamed deaths on traffic calming because residents could not get out of town during a fire in Paradise, California. That’s preposterous. I live on a street that traffic cuts through at double the speed limit at times. I’ve tried to get calming on this road for more than 20 years and there has been some progress, but it is not enough and ineffective.
The third suggestion was to have police “pace cars.” I have no issue in paying my taxes, but I can’t support trained personnel driving around all day. That’s a complete waste of time and money.
Here’s a few suggestions: Slow down, and obey the speed limit. Stop driving aggressively. Stop passing people on the left gravel shoulder at 75 mph. Stop tailgating. In other words, take responsibility. Self-centered behavior is the sole cause, as it is for most things. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this behavior, it’s always been there. One bad motorist is the cause of fatalities more than 1,000 “slow lane” drivers.
Let’s help to get this problem under control instead of throwing money and resources on ideas that will not change people’s behavior. And by the way, America was not built on “personal mobility.” I don’t see that in the U.S. Constitution. It was built on freedom. We all have more freedom when we work together and respect one another.
— Richard Dashiell, Parkville
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