t was another tragic vehicle accident late last month that took the life of a resident of the province. Police say speed was a factor that contributed to this accident, this time a motorcycle crash that took the life a of young man on Pilley’s Island in Central Newfoundland. These are indeed devastating statistics that seem to be growing in number this year.
Another tragic avoidable crash last month took the life of an elderly woman, who was only minutes from her home ,when two young men were allegedly drag racing along a two-lane road in an outport community near Lewisporte.
These accidents may seem as if they will never happen to us, but one only needs to watch the drivers in the Placentia area or on the TransCanada Highway to see a number of traffic violations that could also have lethal consequences.
According to the Town Council in Placentia, young drivers have been seen drag racing through the main roads in Placentia and Dunville, both places certainly not appropriate to be engaging in such activity. There have also been reports of passing in dangerous situations, drinking and driving, taking drugs and driving and other such dubious activities.
It may be a problem will never go away, but there has to be some responsibility taken by drivers themselves and others on the road to engage in safe driving practices to ensure safety on the road for all drivers.
Fellow drivers can take license plate numbers and call them into police when observing foolhardy driving practices. Drivers can also engage in defensive driving techniques and if someone is toying with your life on the road, there is always the option to simply pull over and let them pass, an often neglected option.
There has been some talk at some town councils to place speed bumps on main thoroughfares through towns, which may not be a bad option for a town to embrace. Paradise recently did just that in an attempt to cut down on speeding drivers through residential areas.
That seems to be a proactive approach by a town council to do something about this problem that could quite easily have tragic consequences for the speeding or dangerous driver and innocent others on the roads.
It is also incumbent on parents to ensure their vehicles are being driven in a safe manner and if there is any hint of a problem when their child takes to the streets, they need to step up and take responsibility for the issue.
Then there are issues with dirt bikes and ATVs this time of year.
A driver would be hard pressed to drive in any rural setting and not find an ATV violation heading down the road toward them. Just recently a child was seen popping wheelies on a dirt bike on a paved road in Placentia. The driver looked to be no more than 12 years old.
Parents need to take better responsibility for young drivers and all drivers need to take better responsibility for themselves. It is such a waste of lives, both those injured or killed and those eventually charged, that it simply seems a no-brainer.
We are hurtling down roads at incredibly fast speeds, even when simply meeting the speed limit. It seems incredibly stupid and thoughtless to take risks with people’s lives simply for a lark or to get somewhere a few minutes faster. Elizabeth MacDonald, Editor