The Letter of the Week from Elise George, “Speeding and poor driving to blame on Interstate 68,” was selected by the Times-News editorial board as the best letter of those that appeared during the week of Oct. 27-Nov. 2. It was published Oct. 30.
Note: Selection of the letter of the week is based on writing competence and the ability of the writer to get his or her point across. It is not based on whether the editorial board agrees with the writer.
George and our other Letter of the Week writers receive canvas tote bags embossed with the Letter of the Week logo.
It was encouraging to read in Friday’s (Oct. 25) paper that the Allegany County Board of Commissioners has formally addressed the issue of recurring accidents on I-68 between Cumberland and LaVale.
Commissioner Dave Caporale reported that state officials and Allegany County emergency management personnel have been in discussion about the issue, and that he has “heard everything from possible signage, language barriers for signage, to different types of surfacing.”
The following day, the relevant headline mentioned that I-68 has been modified by grinding the road surface to make it less hazardous. The description of work done on the road is followed by a short paragraph in which the SHA suggests that motorists “lower their speeds.”
I would suggest that the frequency of drivers traveling 15 to 20 mph over the posted limits is ridiculously high, and that perhaps this has contributed to the increase in accidents.
This includes both cars and tractor-trailers. Traveling west, it is not unusual to see cars charge up the right hand lane, cross over the middle lane and pull up on bumper of the line of cars in the left hand lane in an effort to force them to increase their speed to get out of the way.
Signage and road surface improvement alone will not solve the problem. It is imperative that law enforcement address the issues of speeding, aggressive driving and inattentive driving in the area. Aggressive drivers do not respond to suggestions that they lower their speeds, and distracted drivers probably can’t read signs and text messages at the same time.
Except for unusually harsh weather, blaming the road for driver failure is a faulty argument.