I am responding to an article and a column in a recent edition of The News-Times. I was deeply saddened to read that nine of Columbia County's teens have died as a result of automobile accidents in the last eighteen months. One reads about the deaths of these young people in isolation, but when the statistics are presented in this way, it becomes appalling.
I am quite certain that many accidents involving our area teenagers are a result of their inexperience or occasional foolhardiness. However, there are other factors -- a multitude of distractions, congested highways, road construction and the recklessness of other drivers.
Our roadways have become perilous. It seems that it is routine to experience one or more "close calls" every day while driving.
Too many people choose to flagrantly disregard traffic laws. Many individuals appear to have adopted a "me first" attitude on the road. Worse yet, perhaps some ask, "How much can I get away with?"
The traffic congestion that Barry Paschal addressed in his column compounds this very bad situation.
It would be a wonderful thing if our community supported a safe driving initiative. This surely would convey to our young people our commitments to their safety. Law enforcement personnel could support the initiative by communicating that traffic laws will be strictly enforced.
Our roadways would become safer for everyone, and perhaps we would not have to read about the death of another teen.
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