Saving lives on the highway
By Rod Galloway
If the government had been responsible and taken care of the traffic problem years ago, many lives would have been saved. Making a highway without controlling the traffic from crossing over and having head-on collisions is an irresponsible action and they should have to pay for each accident that has killed or maimed innocent people.
Controlling speed is not the problem and, after many years of passing out speeding tickets, putting up signs, painting stripes, it should be obvious to the casual observer that doing that is a useless function. If speed caused the head-on collisions, then there would be hundreds per day, because most people exceed the speed limit.
People continue to drive as they feel safe, regardless of the speed, and will continue to do so. The effort of giving out speeding tickets does not cover the cost of the endeavor and it does not affect the traffic. People still drive as they wish.
Consider the costs of the officer—his car with all the bells and whistles and the costs of processing all those tickets—a lose/lose situation.
If they had purchased center road dividers with the money they have spent on the futile effort to catch speeders, paint stripes, put up signs, especially the ones that tell the drivers how fast they are driving—my car has a speedometer—the road would be safe now.
So put up the barriers and increase the speed limit to 65 and the road would be safer than it is now.
Consider the speed limits on that road, 55 mph, and the two cars going in opposite directions colliding amounts to a car hitting a wall at 110 mph. That is bound to cause material and physical damage, probably death, to the occupants. A better speed would be, guessing, about 20 mph without causing much damage to the occupants. That means the speed limit for a road without a means of preventing head-on collisions should be 10 mph.
That would allow for irresponsible people to have head-on collisions and cause little damage and probably no deaths from the action. Probably not a good idea, beings we cannot keep people from exceeding the 55 mph. A 10 mph speed limit would not be reasonable.
Therefore, having a 55 mph speed limit on Highway 67 or any road like that is an irresponsible act. It is also indicative that the government has little regard for human life, or they would have fixed the problem years ago. Collisions at 20 mph are fatal to 1 in 40, while collisions at 30 mph kill 1 in 5 people.
Putting up barriers down the center of the road would reduce the chances of a head-on collisions to practically zero. A reduced effort would be to place barriers at the most vulnerable locations.
Anyone involved in a head-on collision on any road like Highway 67 should sue the government for being irresponsible. That is the only way they would pay attention and stop the killing of innocent citizens.
The government continues to demonstrate that is has little regard for the lives of citizens on these roads and should be made to correct the problem.
Speed on highways in other less developed countries is controlled with roundabouts and speed bumps. Yes, speed bumps. That would require you to reduce speed to a few mph or tear up the vehicle and center road dividers, not by police lying in wait for the unwary speeder. That has demonstrated for years to be ineffective or does no good.
Traffic breaks would control speeds, but it would require the traffic officer to work for a full shift and not be able to sit around and give out a few tickets in between coffee breaks. Today we hear that if you do not have your headlights on Highway 67 they will give tickets, another lost cause in an effort for the police to give the public the impression they are doing something to thwart the head-on collisions. Turning on the headlights does nothing to eliminate the driver crossing over into the oncoming lane.
Stop signs at four-way stops are an unrealistic endeavor by the government to control safety. Practically no one comes to a complete stop, but most people slow down and check for safety and then proceed across the intersection. Seems the biggest reason for the stop signs is for the police to give tickets to people who do not come to a complete stop.
Years ago most streets did not have stop signs and people looked out for the other driver. Dangerous intersections did have stop signs and they were effective. But today they are everywhere and most people have little respect for stop signs, creating an unsafe condition.
When irrational people make bad laws, the public suffers.
Rod Galloway is a Ramona resident.
- Caltrans unveils speed signs along Route 67
- Two reported critical in Highway 67 head-on
- Fast & Furious
- County’s traffic review process
- Grant targets drunk drivers
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