Speed kills

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

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

Pla­cen­tia Char­ter

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