By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
As adults, we need to set the example
Placeholder Image

Authorities haven't said whether speed was a factor in the accident that claimed the lives of three young girls last week near Pembroke while leaving the driver in critical condition in a Savannah hospital.

But the lack of a definitive statement on what caused the crash isn't unusual at this point, especially since their investigation into this accident is still taking place.

And while we're certainly willing to wait on the outcome of the Bryan County Sheriff Department's investigation to determine what happened, some have already blamed speed.

And at least one person who blogged on our internet site recently decried the lack of a police presence on that particular road at that particular time.

That sentiment is no doubt well intended. If drivers on that road cause a hazard to themselves and other motorists, we also believe authorities need to aggressively work on slowing them down.

But it should be noted that law enforcement agencies in general often don't have the manpower to consistently run radar at traffic hot spots. What's more, they also can lack the political will to crack down too hard on speeders, especially since many complain they're the victim of overzealous police running a speed trap when they get a ticket.

Indeed, when it comes to enforcing speed limits, police are often put in a no win situation.

And that could be the same kind of situation we're putting our kids in, unintentionally. After all, adults, who too often tend to tell teens to do as we say and not as we do, are also sending mixed messages when it comes to safe driving. On the one hand, we tell teen drivers to obey traffic laws, don't drive while talking on a cell phone, etc.

On the other, it's hard to find anyone -- no matter their age – who actually practices what we preach to kids. Especially when it comes to speeding. It's safe to say that many if not most drivers routinely exceed the maximum posted speed limit by as much as 10 m.p.h., if not more.

That's the real message kids get, whether we like it or intend it.

As for why so many people seem to ignore speed limits these days, it's probably a combination of things. Part of the speed problem is probably a sign of our times, when everyone seems to be in a hurry to get where they're going. And since so many in Bryan County commute elsewhere to work, who wants to spend more time fighting ever increasing amounts of traffic to get home after a hard day's work?

There also seems to be a large number of people who believe speed limits are too low. We don't agree with any argument for raising speed limits if for no other reason than it likely will encourage those who use the speed limit as a starting point to drive faster. And as we all ought to know, you should never approach anything faster than you want to hit it.

We should tell our kids that, certainly, and continue to try to teach them as best we can to be good, safe drivers -- not only for their sake but for the sake of everyone who gets behind the wheel.

But at the same time, we need to practice what we preach.

Bryan County News

March 28,2007

Sign up for our E-Newsletters