The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Editorials

October 19, 2013

Red, eight sides? Stop!

Anyone who successfully obtains a driver’s license knows the red, eight-sided signs most often seen at intersections mean vehicles should stop to be sure the way is clear before proceeding.

Apparently, once that license is in hand, the memory of many drivers goes blank.

The big, red, eight-sided signs mean stop. Not slide slowly around the corner. Not kind of stop ... but keep rolling. And certainly not blatantly disregarding the warning sign and continuing to barrel through the intersection.

These selfish drivers — what else would you call someone who expects everyone else to on their guard against their utter disregard for traffic laws? — can be a hazard on any street, but especially this time of the year as the sun sets earlier and earlier. More people driving during twilight, often a difficult time to see clearly, increases the chances of accidents caused by people who can’t spare 2 seconds to stop at a sign and look to be sure everything is safe.

This time of the year also brings out the cousin of those who ignore stop signs. These drivers don’t believe in turning on their headlights while a glimmer of sunlight remains.

Watch any Vermilion County highway for just a bit close to sundown and count how many drivers play hide and seek with everyone else on the road. Headlights don’t just illuminate the path for drivers. They also allow other drivers to see you before the vehicle materializes out of the twilight.

Safe driving involves simple courtesy much of the time. Obey traffic signs. Use your headlights — and turn signals — to let other drivers know where you are and which way you intend to go. Don’t make others guess as to your intentions.

This isn’t rocket science. It’s basic stuff we teach every teenager who wants a license. If they can do it, surely adults can, too.

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