In a perfect world, people would follow the rules of the road and drive carefully and considerately. But as a story on our front page about the damage done to one woman’s property by speeders on Clarktown Road shows, this obviously isn’t a perfect world.
That's one obvious reason we have law enforcement. It’s their job to catch drivers who show no regard for the rules of the road, or at least attempt to provide enough of a presence to deter idiot drivers from being idiots. Do they accomplish that?
We believe they do, more often than not. Are they perfect? No. No one is. But we certainly believe our law enforcement agencies do their best to protect and serve the residents of this community - that includes Pembroke, Richmond Hill and the unincorporated areas of Bryan County.
What’s more, we don’t believe it’s law enforcement’s fault a seemingly growing number of people drive like they weren’t raised right. No law enforcement department in the world can be everywhere at once, especially in a fast-growing community such as ours - and even if one could manage it some residents would surely complain about too many police.
Indeed, what happens when folks get tickets for speeding? Many invariably complain they're the victim of speed traps - even though Georgia has some of the laxest speed laws on the books and most agencies don’t even think about pulling a driver over for anything under 10 mph over the limit.
Of course, we're not suggesting that our roads are overrun with maniacs - though no one should have to have a fence repaired or a mailbox replaced multiple times because of a combination of increasing traffic and careless motorists. There is a problem when that happens and it needs to be fixed. But let's get to the root of the problem and that is to put the blame where it belongs. That's not on the shoulders of law enforcement. It's not due to a lack of resources, money or manpower - though our guess is our local departments could always use more of all three. Blame instead those drivers who put themselves ahead of others and apparently care little for those they may hurt or inconvenience along the way.
Jeff Whitten for the Bryan County News
July 5, 2008