Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

By on March 7, 2017

SlowDownIf you are of a certain age (like I am), you know that is the first line of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).” The fact that I know all the lyrics possible means that I have transitioned into an “old lady”. Not something I want to be labeled with, but it just may be true as I am starting to sound like a grouchy old one, as this column will certainly prove.

Last week, a young woman died and her brother was seriously injured when a car hit them at the corner of Pease and Lakeside. On Saturday night a Westfield teen was hit and killed while crossing Central Avenue in her town. Less than a year ago, another one of our residents was killed as the result of a hit and run.

Last summer I wrote an article about deer that fly. And deer DO fly into the air when they are hit by a car that doesn’t even stop. A week or so prior to that I had written about the importance paying attention to traffic signs, and prior to that I had written a reminder about looking both ways when crossing the street or pulling out.

I clearly AM a grouchy old woman. But I’m desperately trying to make a point. I am also trying to avoid being injured or killed when I go out walking in the morning. And with the clocks springing ahead this weekend and hopefully warmer weather on the way, I WILL be out walking in the pre-dawn hours again. While I do use earbuds while walking, I DO pay close attention to my surroundings. I’m not just talking about traffic. I need to pay attention to appearance of wild life; I have had several too close for comfort encounters with skunks. I need to pay attention to others who are out walking or running. I need to pay attention and respect the total environment. We ALL need to pay attention and respect our surroundings whether we are walking, running, biking, driving, etc.

I know how easy it is to get distracted. I wish I could say I’ve never been pulled over for speeding, turning right on red when it was prohibited or not coming to a full and complete stop. I have. I have been guilty of those things and I have tried to learn from those mistakes.

We all make mistakes; we all have been distracted at one time or another. We need to learn from that. We need to focus. (Now I’m sounding like the nagging mom.) When we are behind the wheel, we need to pay attention and be alert. Animals (and our town is full of critters both domesticated and wild) are NOT going to pay attention. Our children we hope will be paying attention when they are walking to or from school or outside playing, but to be realistic, when that ball rolls out into the street all bets are off.

Verona is a small community. Two pedestrian deaths are two too many. PLEASE listen to this grouch. PLEASE be alert when driving. PLEASE be aware of your surrounding if you are out walking, running, biking, skateboarding, scootering…whatever. Let’s keep our part to keep the community safe. If we do, I promise no more grouchy old lady.

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