Originally created 09/07/00

Drivers must learn to share the road



I am writing to respond in part to Clint Smith's Aug. 12 letter. Mr. Smith wrote that South Carolina isn't a safe place to drive, or words to that effect.

Then he complains about the fact that South Carolina is doing something about it, putting up signs to inform drivers to be on the lookout for bikes. Then he goes on to complain about the amount of money spent on it.

The truth is we have more miles of paved highways and some of the lowest speed limits in the world, and Americans have more accidents than most countries in the world. The reason for this is selling cars in this country is more important than safety.

Anyone with a pulse can drive a car in America. You hear complaints about the school system failing to teach children how to read, but those same children grow up and drive.

There has been a little crackdown on drunken driving in this country, but not enough. If you are a driver, these are two things you never want to hear another driver say: A man sitting at a bar complaining that he has two DUIs and after his fifth or sixth beer says "... and if I get caught again, I may lose my license." The second thing you would hate to hear another driver say is, "I only wear my glasses when I renew my license, because they make me look old or ugly." ...

These drivers fall into two main categories: problem drinkers and idiots.

Then you have the unfortunate individuals who don't possess enough physical coordination to talk on a cell phone and drive at the same time. Having these individuals on highways makes about as much sense as Brittany Spears throwing a pajama party in a men's state prison.

So, if Mr. Smith doesn't want bicycles on roads, where would he have them go? To sidewalks where people walk? Oh, yeah, that would be safe. But sidewalks are becoming rare themselves. Developers exclude them now, because without them they might be able to squeeze a couple of more houses into their development site. You know the end of this story? Money.

Until we're willing to build bike paths and sidewalks, we'll just have to be careful. Pedestrians and bicyclists have to use the roads too.

Edward E. Clark, Bath