Rules of the Road

Tuesday’s accident at the intersection of 20th and Plum streets in Parkersburg was the latest example of what seems, anecdotally, anyway, to be an uptick in accidents caused by drivers who have failed to obey traffic signs and rules. According to reports, the driver of a pickup truck failed to stop at the stop sign posted at that intersection, and crashed into another vehicle, which was driven by a juvenile.

“Sometimes I wonder if they might as well not take all the stop signs out, for all the more anyone is paying attention,” said one local resident, after reading the story.

It does seem as though driving in the Mid-Ohio Valley has become a little more tense, particularly on certain stretches of road where turning lanes, exit lanes and difficult-to-read signs make the effort all the more treacherous.

“You end up driving like no one else is going to do anything normal,” said the same resident.

Better patrols of local streets and stiffer penalties for violations might be a good start to fixing the problem. But drivers must do a better job of understanding and obeying the rules of the road – speed limits, too. It is not only your own life you take into your hands every time you get behind the wheel. There were 34,080 motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. in 2012 – more than 90 people every day. And, of course, that figure does not include serious injuries.

Two people were hurt in the accident at 20th and Plum.

As police officers surely will be working harder to patrol against some of these examples of ignoring traffic rules, drivers, too, must work harder to obey them.