Accidents happen

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, October 30, 2003

In response to Reggie Cruz's Oct. 29 letter regarding slowing down at intersections, I'd like to remind those who believe that "pedestrians are the targets of fast drivers" that accidents happen. Sometimes there is no rhyme, reason or fault.

Pedestrians and drivers both have a responsibility when they're out on the roads. Drivers should always yield to pedestrians, pedestrians should always be aware of traffic conditions and use crosswalks where possible. Unfortunately, everybody is human and humans are notorious for making mistakes in judgment. These mistakes are sometimes met with tragic results, but that's part of being who we are.

As far as intersections and yellow or red lights, I'm sure we can all agree that there are times when you simply are not able to reasonably come to a stop when a traffic signal turns yellow. There's the "point of no return" when trying to stop would only result in an uncontrolled skid and possibly an accident. At these times you just want to get through the intersection. Trying to "beat a light" is not always a mistake, nor is it always a logical choice. This alone does not make one a bad driver, it is simply one of thousands of judgment calls a driver has to make during their morning commute or when making a grocery run.

I understand people are upset with this particular intersection and want to blame it and the bad Juneau drivers for what occurred. Searching for blame is not always the right thing to do, although with this intersection I agree with the proposed changes to designate it as a school crossing. It only makes sense when the school is within view, two blocks away. It is horribly unfortunate that it takes a tragedy to force this change, but that's how hindsight works.

However, before you start pleading for "maniac drivers" to be pulled over or police officers stationed at every intersection, keep in mind that no matter what you do, accidents will happen. If a driver is truly driving dangerously, they will likely be pulled over. Police officers will continue to do their jobs as best as they can. When there is an accident and there is fault, it will be dealt with and those at fault will taken off the roads. If it was simply an accident, that needs to be accepted and sympathy, not blame, given to all parties involved.

Remember, it could have just as easily been you or me driving through that intersection.

Jason Soza

Juneau



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