More po­lice pres­ence along roads will make things safer for all of us

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Per­haps I have been silent too long as a mem­ber of the “silent ma­jor­ity” be­cause I can no longer sit back and watch peo­ple dy­ing on our high­ways ev­ery day with­out voic­ing my opin­ion.

It used to be a ma­jor event to read about a high­way death in our lo­cal news­pa­per, but now it has be­come a weekly oc­cur­rence that should not be ac­cepted by a civ­i­lized so­ci­ety. We con­demn other deaths caused by vi­o­lent crime, es­pe­cially the ones caused by weapons, but we do noth­ing about the daily car­nage on our high­ways that claim many more lives.

Have we be­come so ac­cus­tomed to some­one dy­ing from an auto ac­ci­dent that the news barely wrin­kles our brow? Has mod­ern so­ci­ety be­come so bereft of hu­man com­pas­sion that we tol­er­ate a tragic death on our high­ways as an ac­cept­able oc­cur­rence? Can a hu­man life be con­sid­ered so unim­por­tant that we have to ex­pe­ri­ence the tragedy per­son­ally be­fore it fi­nally sinks in?

I say it’s time for the “silent ma­jor­ity” to take a stand and do some­thing about it. I know that my words will prob­a­bly fall on deaf ears, but I have to ap­peal to any­one who feels the same way I do about this sub­ject.

There are many con­tribut­ing fac­tors to auto ac­ci­dents, but ex­ces­sive speed, dis­tracted driv­ing, inat­ten­tion and peo­ple who are just in too much of a hurry to con­sider that there are other peo­ple on the high­way have been the causes of most auto ac­ci­dents.

I sub­mit the fol­low­ing pro­posal to help cur­tail the high­way car­nage be­cause it is ob­vi­ous what is caus­ing it: An im­me­di­ate in­crease of po­lice pres­ence on the high­way in marked cruis­ers mov­ing with the traf­fic will slow driv­ers down to the speed limit and make them aware that auto vi­o­la­tions will not be tol­er­ated. An im­me­di­ate in­crease in the fund­ing for lo­cal law en­force­ment to add deputies to pa­trol the high­way along with mod­ern cruis­ers that pro­vide the tech­nol­ogy and com­fort to make a deputy’s job more pro­fes­sional and re­ward­ing.

I am painfully aware that all of this in­creased high­way sur­veil­lance will cost money. And as much as I dis­like the word “taxes,” I am will­ing to ac­cept a tax in­crease to see our high­ways safe for ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of driv­ers. I have al­ways been a big sup­porter of law en­force­ment of­fi­cers, who right­fully de­serve our re­spect for go­ing above and be­yond the call of duty. These ded­i­cated in­di­vid­u­als seem to be the only an­swer to our prob­lem on the high­way.

Give them your to­tal sup­port, both phys­i­cally and men­tally, and pro­vide the financial sup­port to en­able them to be an ef­fec­tive group. If we do this, per­haps we will see a day when driv­ing in South­ern Mary­land and ev­ery­where else in this coun­try is a safe and pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence. Sa­muel R. “Sal” Pis­ta­chio, Me­chan­icsville

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