As the community reels from two fatalities in separate accidents on San Vicente Road within one week, opinions vary whether the county’s planned road straightening and widening project to improve safety on that road will make a difference. Most agree they will, but the project — no matter how good — will not prevent future accidents. That’s up to us.
Barring a driver having a heart attack or other medical emergency, an earthquake, lightning knocking a tree on a vehicle, or other act of God — common sense and staying alert should do it. Be safe, be aware, be proactive. Don’t speed, don’t drink and drive, don’t text while driving — you know the rest. We all do.
Some of us were surprised when the county presented the San Vicente Road project plans to the community. It seems almost as much area is going to bike lanes and pathways as the two driving lanes. Bike lanes will allow teens not yet driving and others to cycle to and from the Estates. Pathways will allow equestrians and those on foot a safer route in and out of the Estates. Are they guarantees that a bicyclist, equestrian or walker never will be struck by a vehicle? No. Portions of San Diego have bike lanes that tourists and residents frequent, and we occasionally read of a fatality on them.
We’re not engineers, and we know that not everyone will agree on San Vicente Road improvements — what they are or whether they even should be done. But let’s agree that we’re going to be proactive drivers, we’re going to convey the importance of attentive driving to our children, and we’re going to take the car keys from a friend or family member who obviously is intoxicated or otherwise impaired.
Driving along San Vicente Road is a constant reminder that not all who travel it arrive home safely. Crosses, Deviney Lane — named for teenager Deviney Snider who died on a rainy evening in a November 1999 San Vicente Road accident — and now a makeshift memorial for the 18-year-old killed Aug. 22. On Aug. 29, a 74-old-man doing nothing wrong was killed when his vehicle was hit head-on by a vehicle manned by a suspected distracted driver.
Let those crosses and Deviney’s name on the street sign serve as reminders to all of us who drive that road.
We can put a stop to it.