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Fri., Sep. 4
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Traffic deaths outpacing military casualties


There is a need to reduce traffic deaths in the United States.

My inspiration for this is the fact that all war deaths since 1775 total 1.3 million, but all highway deaths since 1900 total 3.9 million. This is three times the fatalities in less than half the time and we are thus creating our own 9-11 every month. We honor our war dead while ignoring highway deaths, so much more prevalent.

We spend nationally more than $50 billion to prevent another 9-11 instead of spending perhaps $30 billion of that money to install center barriers on our two-lane highways to prevent head-on collisions. In the interim, we should reduce speed limits on such roads to 40 until they are made safer.

The thought that 300,000 people have died on American highways since the 3,000 that died on Sept. 11 is nothing short of infuriating.

If we continue to drive in the same way on the same roads as in past years, we become part of a predetermined plan (premeditated manslaughter?) to eliminate yearly more than 30,000 vital human lives, in addition to countless long-term injuries adding up to indescribable heartbreak, plus high insurance rates and other out-of-pocket penalties. Are we victims of our own nature? A condition describable as speed greed, if so, then it must be controlled.

There are several remedial approaches that can be used. Install central rumble strips on all two-lane roads to prevent head-on collision fatalities (only 30 cents per foot and proven highly effective on test roads). Rather than lower speed limits, lower the ability of cars to travel beyond a safe speed, and publicize properly and realistically the significance of this crisis that so many of us are so oblivious to and that we could absolutely correct if we had the determination.

With hope for the future,

Richard Carlisle


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