What’s the point of neighborhood speeding?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 6, 1999

By Lillian Ridlen / L’Observateur / February 6, 1999

DEAR EDITOR: I read where the sheriff reported that people are still speeding in the subdivisions. Yes, they are, and going around those in front of them whostop at stop signs. Once the party ahead begins to cross the intersection,it is OK for the second car to go, too, without their own stop and with total disregard for others at a four-way stop to have a turn to cross. So,what is it with these two-car trains and sometimes three-car trains crossing without making their own stops to look, see and then cross when it’s their turn? Why are some residents in such a hurry that they are endangering lives, speeding through subdivisions? It is odd that in most of these incidents, the speeders are driving brand-new cars that don’t yet have permanent license plates. Only a few are teen-agers, the balance are in their 20s tomid-40s.

There is a solution to being in that big of a hurry: leave earlier to reach your destination. Hey, then we all might get to where we are trying to go,still in one piece.

Then there is the cell-phone group. They call or gets calls from otherpeople with whom they are in a heated argument, and not paying attention to the road, other drivers, traffic signals or anything except the party on the other end of that call.

Gee, I thought those phones that they claim is a “must-have” was to call for help if you “get” into an accident? They are not to be used to “cause” one to occur. The parties on the opposite end of those calls are equally toblame. Arguing with a person on the road in heavy, rush-hour traffic istempting fate.

If you don’t really want a loved one’s guts all over the road from ramming into that tractor-trailer they didn’t see, distracted by your heated call, then put your brains back into your head and save the tiff until off-road time.

No sheriff or deputies, no State Trooper, can put a mangled, deceased person back together, or relieve you of your guilt for causing the death by arguing over a cell phone with a person driving in heavy traffic who needs to be paying attention to changing conditions and to other drivers.

For those who think, stop; this does not apply to them, just other drivers.

How are you going to feel if you hit some young child or maul down an older person because they can’t run fast enough to get out of your way, just because you are in such a big, fat hurry, and in too much of a hurry to slow down or stop? What if your child, or your grandmother, gets hurt or killed by someone out there in as big a hurry as you are? Will all that rush-driving you do and endangering lives every day still be as funny and as much a “get over it” if someone just like you snuffs out one of your family? How about two rushed drivers getting each other and all die from the force of impact being so much greater, going too fast in a populated subdivision, because they are out there driving like maniac fools, just like you have been doing? Are those of us who stop, drive the speed limits and take our turns the real fools? It’s too late to realize we’re not, once you are pushing up daisies in some cemetery. Or are you spending your life in jail forvehicular homicide somewhere, to find out we aren’t the ones being the fools? No one wants to be called a fool. Why, I’ve got some nerve, huh? Well, ifyou don’t like it, then show the rest of us how very smart you are and slow down and quit acting the part.

What if all the folks who need glasses to see to drive started taking off their glasses to go out driving where you are? How safe would you feel, Mr. and Mrs. Speeder? Or those cell-phoning and not paying heed to wherethey are driving? Not all too safe, I’m sure.

What if they bash your nice car, cost you hospital time, and loss of income from your job; or cost you your career? Aw, gee! Should the rest of us feel sorry for you when you want to speed and endanger our lives? It works both ways, folks. No one owns the road. Once you understand that,it’s your choice. Bright and driving more safely, or pushing up daisies forbeing a fool. Think it over. Less accidents equals lower insurance equalsmore spending money. Driving safely pays!

Lillian RidlenLaPlace

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