To anyone who has been outside ever, it’s not uncommon to see someone driving a little too fast every once in a while. Often nearby or even within neighborhoods, these drivers put lives at risk.
In 2019, Patch.com reported that, “Connecticut reported 254 traffic fatalities…. The following year the number of traffic fatalities increased by 56, bringing the total number to 310 in 2020. Speeding played a big role in many of those fatalities.” Also, from nbcconnecticut.com: “Even if I am going a little bit more than the speed limit, there’s always somebody going much faster than me, said Natalie Spadaccino of Middletown.”
It seems that no matter what, people are always speeding.
In Connecticut alone, drivers who are oblivious and ignorant to the residents of the area injure or kill dozens. While obviously not intentional, the consequences are severe. Children can fall victim to these irresponsible drivers burning up the road as if it were a Fast & Furious movie, and yet it continues to happen.
“Nationally, there could be more than 40,000 traffic fatalities this year, compared to a normal year of 35,000 to 36,000, said Eric Jackson, director of the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center, the Hartford Courant reported. “Besides speed, the reasons for fatal accidents include drunken driving and motorists distracted by personal issues that could be related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” This was said to be in 2021.
It seems as if the general population brushes off speeding drivers, not realizing the impact that these accidents have. Many may argue that there are more extreme issues on hand that should be prioritized, but preventing lethal driving accidents from drivers going much over the speed limit doesn’t require all or even most of our resources. Simply increasing police patrols within these prone areas, and teaching and enforcing safety in the roads to children, would help. Furthermore, general moderation of the causes of these drivers’ recklessness, such as drunk driving, could work toward reducing the number of incidents and minimizing the affects on future victims.
According to the state, “Speeds increased drastically and they haven’t fully come back down as more people returned to work and to the state’s roadways. That, combined with the stress of the pandemic, has resulted in an increase in aggressive driving. All of these factors contribute to traffic deaths that are currently on track to reach record levels by the end of the year.”
In any case, one wrong move by a motorist can leave someone injured or dead in the crosswalk. If you ever are late for work and are worried about arriving late, just accept the consequences. In my neighborhood, I experienced many speeding cars due to everyone using my street as a cut-off and knowing they can go quickly.
According to Jim Cameron in his article “Speeding — the most deadly highway hazard,” “we have so far to travel and want to save time getting there. In Connecticut, our homes and our work are far apart because we can’t afford (or don’t chose) to live closer to our jobs. And either because we don’t want to (or chose not to), we don’t take mass transit, preferring the cocoon of our cars.” I think it is important to get to work, but I do think it is more valuable to be a little late for work instead of hurting someone due to speed.
We need to be a strong community and one community as a whole. Especially when behind the wheel, we need to think “what if this happened to someone in our family?” But every day people of each community have to promote traffic safety and bring public attention to the locations that are prone to speeding.
Robert Hannigan lives in Danbury.