OldArchive / Letters to the Editor
Too Many Drivers Ignoring Basic Rules
The purpose of this note is to point out the absolute failure of the Department of Transportation to educate drivers. I'm not sure exactly when they took over the task, but I do recall the imposing State Trooper who sat next to me when I took my driver's test at age 16. While negotiating turns through alleys and streets, that trooper, who first seemed downright unfriendly, made sure I could handle that potentially deadly machinery before he approved me to receive a license to drive.
Today one observes, at times, with absolute horror the egotistical driving habits of other motorists as they follow too close behind you. Besides making driving a very unpleasant experience, following too closely is the easiest infraction to correct and is responsible for most deadly freeway pileups. As a matter of fact, I myself was struck from behind by a large truck and had to be extricated from the vehicle. I was later told by attending physicians that the efforts of the Wyalusing Valley Volunteer Fire Department were largely responsible for limiting my injuries. I hope they know I'm grateful that they were there and admire them for all the time they spend learning their techniques.
About speed limits: do motorists really understand what a speed limit is? Try this for a definition. A speed limit is the safest maximum speed one can operate a vehicle, in daylight, under ideal conditions, when no other vehicles are in sight.
It is my serious belief that day and night-time speed should be established and that road conditions should play a part in one's decision. For instance, wet roadways should cause a motorist to use extra caution and courtesy (Get rid of that "get out of my way" attitude). A charge of unreasonable speed should be added to the vehicle code and could be easily articulated by police officers. Example: following too closely, too fast for conditions (wet roadways).
In any event, speed limits should be established by engineers who design them and policemen who have no patrol of them.
P.S. A rule of thumb used to be understood that a safe driving distance was one vehicle length of the vehicle you're driving for every 10 miles per hour you're traveling.