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Letter: The Dangers of Route 4

To the Editor:

Route 4 is a scary road because of the way people drive it.

It is very common to see vehicles, when traffic is thin, drifting over the line, especially on curves. Are they distracted? Are they impaired? Are they just bad drivers? Are they thinking it is their private road and they can drift to and fro as they like? It is a pretty road and many people may be taking in the sights.

It is also a road that people use for all kinds of purposes. Some are out for some sight-seeing or casual errands. Others are using the only road they have to make it to work on time or to get to the doctor or hospital.

Long portions of the road have guardrails or drop-offs on both sides, leaving no exit for drivers who get caught by an oncoming driver who is over the line.

It is perhaps not a coincidence that the three fatal accidents in the past few months all involved a mismatch in vehicle size — a small sedan and a hefty pickup; a huge livestock transport and a little station wagon; and most recently, another truck and a car. In my observation, bigger vehicles on Route 4 are road hogs. It is a narrow road with small shoulders, and a big rig — or just a heavy-duty pickup — trying to make good time will often squeeze the center rather than slow down or hug the outside right. These vehicles are often over the line on curves. Drivers going in the other direction who themselves do not take every precaution when approaching a curve can find themselves victims of a heavier vehicle’s outward swing.

Rumble strips are a good idea, and practical. There will still be drivers who won’t care about keeping in their own lane. Authorities stopping cars on the road for out-of-date inspection stickers should make it their highest priority to stop and penalize anybody over the line (business will be brisk).

It is a form of public education.

Pamela Crossley

Norwich

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