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Letter: It’s Not the Road’s Fault

To the Editor:

I have been reading letters posted to several local newspapers that attribute the recent tragic accidents on Route 4 to its being a “dangerous” road, a “white knuckle” driving experience, etc. What a crock! If people need rumble strips to alert them that they’re driving in the oncoming lane then their driving skills — or, more to the point, their lack thereof — need to be addressed.

These lame suggestions of lowering the speed limit, widening the road, etc., are typical of excuse-based solutions that unqualified individuals resort to.

I drive Route 4 daily and don’t find it at all challenging, except for occasional heavy traffic. However, there are far too many operators (I can’t in good conscience call them drivers) on Route 4, and everywhere else for that matter, who lack common sense and good driving skills. When two cars collide because one, or both, crossed the center line, that’s not the fault of the road. How ludicrous. Inattentive driving or failing to stay between the lines is the cause. The road is fixed — it doesn’t move, it doesn’t disappear. And thousands of people travel it daily.

The sheer number of cars and trucks that navigate Route 4 every year support the possibility of accidents occurring. That doesn’t mean that the number of accidents can’t be reduced. It would be interesting to see the statistics comparing car miles traveled on Route 4 to the number of accidents. Route 4 is not a dangerous road by any stretch of the imagination. I find the speed limits reasonable and well applied according to location and conditions. It is not a narrow road, especially when compared with many of Vermont’s rural paved roads. Don’t like curves? Don’t drive in Vermont!

It appears that the recent tragic accidents on Route 4 were caused by driver error. It’s that simple. Driving is serious business and it’s time that the driving public take on the responsibility of becoming safer and more skilled drivers. Stop with the excuses. Most people out there have a lot to learn about driving. Two hands on the wheel are useless without a brain behind them.

Ken Arthur

West Windsor

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