Make the de­ci­sion to al­ways drive safely

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

ED­I­TOR, TIMES-DIS­PATCH:

Should stu­dents rid­ing to school and emer­gency re­spon­ders help­ing those in need have to fear greater dan­ger on our roads with each pass­ing day? Has dis­tracted, im­paired, and un­safe driv­ing risen to the level that it could fi­nally be called an epi­demic?

The world we live in is chal­leng­ing enough, with many things sim­ply out of our con­trol. How­ever, driv­ing is one area where we can and should be ab­so­lutely in con­trol and part of the safety so­lu­tion. Each of us has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to our­selves, our fam­i­lies, friends, and ev­ery sin­gle per­son around us to be a safe and cour­te­ous driver to­ward all with whom we share the road.

Trag­i­cally, re­cent news re­ports tell the story of school chil­dren and emer­gency re­spon­ders killed in hor­rific and pre­ventable crashes.

Year af­ter year, sur­veys by the AAA Foun­da­tion for Traf­fic Safety find that an at­ti­tude of “do as I say, not as I do” per­sists among mo­torists, many of whom ad­mit to en­gag­ing in the same dan­ger­ous be­hav­iors that they crit­i­cize as be­ing unac­cept­able. All of the statis­tics and all of the calls for change from trans­porta­tion safety ad­vo­cates and vic­tim im­pact groups will not save a sin­gle life or prevent a sin­gle crash if no­body takes ac­tion to change his be­hav­ior.

We can and must im­prove the safety of our roads, but it will take ev­ery in­di­vid­ual driver mak­ing the con­scious de­ci­sion to be laser-fo­cused on safe driv­ing to change the fu­ture. It will also take ev­ery pas­sen­ger in a ve­hi­cle hold­ing their driver ac­count­able for safe driv­ing prac­tices. To­gether, one by one, we can make our roads safer and re­store the free­dom and ex­pec­ta­tion that we and our loved ones should be se­cure in our daily trav­els.

Please make the de­ci­sion to put safety first ev­ery time you get be­hind the wheel.

MARTHA MEADE,

AAA.

GLEN ALLEN.

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