29 September 2006

Traffic Accidents

On Wednesday, our community of Clark Fork was rocked by the news of yet another traffic accident involving some of our kids - that makes three accidents, with seven of our children, in a 12 day period. From what we've heard, the first accident involved bad decisions - driving 80 miles an hour on US 95 because the kids were late getting home (two of those students are still in coma); the second was a student hit head on by someone passing, on a curve, in a no passing zone; and the third may have been as simple as turning in the sun, and failing to see the motorcycle coming down the road. The guy on the motorcycle died in that one, and now one of our students will live with that knowledge for the rest of his life, while a family somewhere is grieving at a loss that can never be repaired.

My Amy is supposed to get her driver's license in mid-October, just a few weeks from now. I confess, I'm wanting to ban her from getting it. This is my youngest child, and I worry enough with two other children driving on the roads - now I'll have a third who will undoubtedly keep me up nights with fear. Although she's a pretty good driver, she won't be on the road alone - and not all people make good decisions when behind the wheel of a lethal weapon.

So what's the answer? In the 15 years I've been driving between Sandpoint and Clark Fork, I've watched an amazing amount of idiot drivers - mostly those who pass when it's unsafe to do so, but also those who, in the winter, think four-wheel-drive makes them immune to the effects of ice on the roadway. Is there a way to make the highway safer, or is this just a reality we all have to live with?

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