Archived Story

Roadway safety is our responsibility

Published 2:41pm Friday, September 9, 2011

A story that appeared in a recent edition of The Clanton Advertiser informed readers that no less than eight people had died in three different wrecks just this year along a one-mile stretch of Interstate 65 near the Verbena exit.

People had no doubt already noticed there had been several deadly wrecks in the area recently, but when you put the numbers together, the total is mind blowing. And then another man died in the early morning of Sept. 7 when his vehicle—which had run out of fuel and was parked partially on the roadway—was struck by a tractor-trailer.

Characteristics of this stretch of road can be found that makes it conducive to these types of accidents. There is no guard rail, for example, and in each of the wrecks except the last one, a vehicle crossed the median and collided with traffic traveling the opposite direction.

But the important point for us to take away from these tragedies is that the road didn’t cause the wrecks. In each case, the root has been the presence of a distracted driver or a malfunctioning vehicle.

None of us can go out and put up guard rails along the Interstate, though a spokesman with the Alabama Department of Transportation said the stretch has been targeted for rails. We can, however, take the proper precautions before and during a trip.

We must make sure our vehicles are in drivable condition, and we must stay focused on the task at hand when we’re behind the wheel. The phone can be used after we reach our destinations.

Rails or no rails, highway safety is our responsibility.

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