Treat highway workers with courtesy

Published 12:48 am Sunday, August 3, 2008

We live in a society where everything is fast, and the concept of delayed gratification has been thrown out the window. We build fast cars, buy them, and we want to get where we are going as quickly as humanly possible.

Sometimes, however, there are reasons to slow it down a bit. This is especially true when we may threaten the lives of people who are standing nearby.

In front of the Clanton City Shop on Highway 31, a sign urges motorists to slow down when city workers are out on the side of the highway. We don’t think they are asking too much.

Everybody appreciates a little common courtesy. That is the category this falls under. No one walking or working alongside a public highway wants to feel like a human target, and we should remember that when we are behind the wheel.

Highway workers are just trying to do their job. What they do is important because it allows us to have highways to travel on. In other cases, they are spending time picking up the trash we are too lazy to dispose of properly.

Any time we see someone working near a highway, whether they are repairing the road, picking up litter, or simply holding up a sign, we should immediately acknowledge their presence and slow down.

When passing stopped vehicles on the interstate, if at all possible, we should move to the far lane. We should always keep an eye open for people who might be changing a flat tire.

The same holds true for law enforcement officers, rescue workers and others who are trying to keep order after a wreck or other incident. They cannot help what happened; they are simply trying to ensure your safety. The least we can do in return is drive with caution until we are clear of the scene.

This is what we should do, but often what we should do and what we will do are two different things.