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Opinion

Take a breath behind the wheel

Sherri Dauskurdas
Sherri Dauskurdas

Catching the light isn’t worth catching your death.

It sounds obvious, but every day, all along Randall Road from Batavia to St Charles, I see folks speed up on the yellow, plowing through the intersection with the hopes of making it home, or to work, or to wherever, just a few minutes earlier.

And nearly every day, somewhere along that stretch from Main to Main, there’s an accident, which risks everyone’s safety, and makes us all, at the very least, just a few minutes late.

We could discuss the close placement and timing of traffic lights on Randall Road, particularly though Batavia, which many folks believe is a contributing cause to the bevy of accidents we see there. It may well be.

And we can consider the construction on Randall Road in St. Charles, and whether diversion of traffic might be a safer option than the constant midday backlogs and the unmarked lanes. Perhaps that’s true.

But a more pressing issue is at hand: Starting this week and next, come mid-afternoon, a flurry of newish drivers will pour onto the streets as our local high schools dismiss. These are young and inexperienced drivers. They are excited to see their friends. Some are still a little nervous behind the wheel.

That was us, not so long ago.

They aren’t used to construction or rush hour traffic. They likely haven’t yet developed that sixth sense of what the driver one lane over is about to do in a given situation. Their practical knowledge behind the wheel still is developing.

And if we come across these new drivers on the road while we impatiently speed up when we ought to slow down, hitting the gas on the yellow instead of the brakes … it is going to end badly.

We tell teens all the time that they have to be responsible. Drive the speed limit. Look both ways. Don’t be distracted. But we need to be just as responsible. Because even though they have a license to drive, they still are our children.

So let’s all try our best to leave a few minutes earlier, accept that we may get where we are going a few minutes later, and use that annoying red light as a chance to take a breath during an otherwise hectic day.

We’ll all be safer, and dinner will wait for us.

Thanks for reading.

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