Monday, December 3, 2012

Opinion Column: It’s Time We Stopped Living With Roads That Are Killing Us

David Alpert, editor of the blog Greater Greater Washington, wrote a recent opinion column in the Washington Post:"It's Time We Stopped Living With Roads That are Killing Us."
The day before Thanksgiving, Loudoun County elementary school principal Kathleen Hwang died. She was trying to cross a road in her Sterling neighborhood.

How should we react to such a tragedy? Certainly we should mourn the loss of a beloved member of the community. But can we also learn from this experience as part of an effort to stop it from happening again?

Instead, our natural reaction seems to be to try to figure out which individual was at fault. Was it Hwang? The 18-year-old driver of the SUV that hit her? Police often hew to the assumption that the pedestrian was responsible. In many crashes, there’s no easy way to determine if the driver was distracted, so that possibility is rarely, if ever, a part of police and news reports. But the reported fact that Hwang was wearing earbuds — which might or might not have played a role — gave some people an easy way to dismiss the issue and move on.

Everyone — drivers and pedestrians — should pay attention on the road. But we know that many of us don’t. Our roads shouldn’t exact such a high price for our inevitable moments of carelessness, especially when the pedestrian pays the higher price for the error either way.
Read the complete article.

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