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Palo Verde Valley Blythe/Quartzsite Times | Blythe, California and Quartzsite, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions January 24, 2015

5/2/2013 5:00:00 PM
TIMES EDITORIAL: Traffic laws need to be taken seriously

With summer here and lots of kids playing in and around the streets of Blythe, people need to wake up and change their driving habits before they kill or seriously injure someone.

Our roads have become home to some extremely arrogant people who think local traffic laws don't apply to them and that others need to get off their road and stay out of their way. This thinking is rampant in Blythe and the Palo Verde Valley and only gets worse as the weather gets warmer.

Too many people are in too much of a hurry and not paying attention on our local roads. Far be it for the Palo Verde Valley Times to call for a crackdown on anything by our local law enforcement officials, but the dangerous way people are driving in our community has reached a critical stage and cries out for intervention. The snowbirds are long gone for the summer so it's the locals who need to take responsibility.

The people who can't lay off the gas pedal are one of the greatest dangers to our kids riding their bicycles and playing on the streets. It doesn't take much for a car to cause severe injuries to an 8 or 9-year-old child. Even at 10 or 15 mph a child can be killed or land in the hospital with injuries that may last a lifetime.

Just as important as it is to move slowly through residential neighborhoods, drivers need to keep their eyes open for children and pedestrians. Children are apt to step out from behind parked vehicles or trees without looking. It's the adult driver's responsibility to be watching out for them.

While the speed limit is 30 on our main downtown thoroughfare, Hobsonway, traffic routinely reaches 40 mph or more. While some complain about visibility when turning on or off of Hobsonway, they need to remember that the purpose of the design was to slow traffic in the downtown core, making it more pedestrian friendly. For those who can't enjoy a slow ride through downtown, then it probably would be best that they avoid it.

The most dangerous drivers of all are those talking on the phone. They don't seem to care about anyone but themselves and if they endanger someone else with their distracted driving, so be it.

You see them every day, stopped at green lights while they chat, making everyone else wait; veering into the wrong lanes with the phone to their ear; slamming on their brakes barely avoiding an accident because their conversation was more important.

It's ridiculous and it's a shame that someone innocent is going to get hurt because some selfish person felt the law didn't apply to them and they drove while talking on the phone.

Talking on the phone is proving to be as dangerous as drinking and driving, and the punishment needs to be increased seeing as the fines now have offered little in the way of a deterrent to those who can't wait until they're parked to make or take a phone call.

Bottom line: People need to act now before someone ends up in the hospital ...or worse.

While law enforcement needs to keep our community safe, we the people have an even greater personal responsibility to drive safely and not endanger the people we care most about and others who are apt to suffer from our negligence.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: Peace Be Still

Great picture of teaching a child how to ride his bike and stay safe. If this were my child I would also teach him or her to always wear shoes that will protect the toes. Great Start!

Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2013
Article comment by: Daniel Jensen

Ha. Funny how the truth hurts. Drive safe humans.

Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2013
Article comment by: Daniel Jensen

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013
Article comment by: Leo Duh Vinchee

No matter where you're going in a hurry, I'm sure you believe it's important! If so, it's still just something that we ourselves created. Like cremation & concrete funeral vaults. Without those the truth emerges brightly. You have the same destiny as everyone & everything else that lives. To die & be consumed by another life form until, ultimately, you are "returned" to the soil. Everything before that is nothing more than a passing moment of self-delusion, designed to make it appear that we have even an iota of understanding about how anything actually ever came to exist .. other than the self-serving writings of a self-proclaimed "chosen people"! That's not to say that I can't understand how it might be preferable to allow oneself the belief that when one "dies" they go to a "heaven" instead of an animals colon! I can! But of the two, which are you more likely to ever lay eyes on.? Slow down, enjoy the illusion while you can. You'll be wormbait soon enough, no need to rush.

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013
Article comment by: Homeboy StreetRacin'

There's a downtown in Blythe??? Where's uptown?

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013
Article comment by: I agree

Just sit at 9th and barnard southbound stop sign, and count how many actually stop, it's amazing!!

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