Forum, July 3: Enforcement is the key to safety

Published: 7/2/2019 10:00:11 PM
Enforcement is the key to safety

This is in reference to the story about the crash that killed seven motorcyclists in Randolph, N.H. (“Deadly crash results in resignation, ICE detainer,” June 27): As a former truck driver for 30-plus years, I would like to know why the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles issued a commercial driver’s license to the operator of the pickup truck involved in the crash. Did they not check his prior record?

Obviously, it was not a priority.

I used to hold a hazardous-materials endorsement. In order to get that, I had to undergo a background check, even if it was just for a renewal. Does Massachusetts just rubber-stamp anyone who applies for a commercial driver’s license?

I agree with Harry Adler, executive director of the Truck Safety Coalition, about this being so preventable. I do take exception to his advocating for stricter truck safety regulations. This is just a knee-jerk response. I think it would be better if all states actually enforced the regulations they already have. The company involved faced 60 violations in 24 months and was still operating? What is wrong with this statement?

Enforcement is the key to safety. It is illegal to kill someone. Still it goes on. It is against the law to pedal dope, but it still goes on.

It made me ill to read that, even if the case were to be dismissed, the driver “would be turned over to ICE for possible deportation.” He is charged with killing seven people. As a society, we need to take responsibility for our actions and not turn our noses away from what we do or see.

JOHN M. FRAGNELLA

Tunbridge

Getting candidates to keep their word

I read with great interest Liza Draper’s letter (“N.H. voters should take chance to raise civil rights questions,” June 28).

However, I am wondering where she has been for the last 10-plus years?

When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he promised to “fix” the immigration problem. Well, not only did he not fix the immigration problem, he is the one who had the cages built — yes, the same cages that all sane people are screaming about.

He was voted in for a second term — and still he did not “fix” the problem. So I ask, “How do we get a presidential candidate to keep his word?”

I am in my late 70s and the only president who I feel kept his promises was Bill Clinton, but as a human being he has many moral flaws.

MARCELLA LOGUE

Enfield

We should be glad to have a hospital in Springfield, Vt.

Because I still think that I am in my 30s, I recently injured my (replaced) knee while weed-wacking on a hill. I have a great friend who takes care of that for me, but sometimes I just want to prove to him that I still have it. I am actually in my early 70s, and my knee swelled up like a bag of Jiffy Pop popcorn and hurt like hell.

Unfortunately, not only am I guilty of ignoring the reality of my age, but I’m also somewhat of a hypochondriac. Not a good combination at all.

I ended up having to go to the emergency room at Springfield Hospital, where I was treated with compassion and expertise. The physician on duty accurately diagnosed my problem immediately, and ordered an ultrasound to make sure. Both he and the nurses reassured me several times that I was going to be OK.

I am writing about this because I do not know what I would have done if I had to get to another hospital out of town. I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t even walk. All my friends were out of town that day and I live alone.

I personally feel that we all must appreciate Springfield Hospital and its amazing staff and we must help keep it here in Springfield.

LINDA BROWN

Springfield, Vt.

Understanding the process that helped destroy democracy

Kudos to Osher@Dartmouth for the summer lecture series “Critical Thinking for the Preservation of Our Democracy.”

One book that provides a brilliant historical analysis of the process that destroyed democracy and brought Hitler and Mussolini to power in the 1930s is The Anatomy of Fascism by Robert O. Paxton, retired chair of the History Department at Columbia University.

Written almost 20 years ago, the book is a prescient account of the step-by-step process by which representative government in Germany and Italy was overwhelmed by aggressive dictatorships in an “emotional wave” of nationalism, feelings of victimhood and fear of loss of status, bolstered by newly empowered media reaching a mass audience.

Both dictators came to power only with the help of conservative politicians who feared socialism more than they valued democracy.

In 2004, when the book was published, it was described as a “classic.” It still is.

PHYLLIS TILSON PIOTROW

New London

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