Hotshot drivers should slow down
To the editor:
Maybe it is just me getting grumpier as I age, but it sure seems like drivers on the roads are more and more losing their sense of social responsibility and cooperation. It seems like almost daily I see people driving past stop signs without making anything that even vaguely resembles a stop, even now when the winter snowbanks are so severely limiting our vision at corners. Or other times cars do stop, but by their crazy high approach speeds and skidding halts it is very obvious they only stopped because they saw me coming at the last second. And then we see these hotshots driving far too fast through downtown Houghton, gambling that some child or drunk will not step out unexpectedly from between parked cars.
One spot that I find particularly worrisome is up near the top of White Street in Hancock, where it meets Pine Street. For people who turn off there, the upward slope of White Street suddenly turns into the downward slope of Pine Street, such that you could not see a low object in the road 100 feet or less ahead of you. You would think that not having full information about what is ahead would cause people to drive more cautiously, but no, folks come flying over that crest at insane speeds all the time. Just recently I have twice seen a certain pickup truck turn off there at such foolish speeds that it virtually did a jump at the corner, and then fishtailed wildly as it continued down Pine Street. Well it is all fun and games for the Dukes of Hazzard, until some kid walking his dog in the road happens to be stooped over there to pick up his dropped mitten. This corner is not very safe even in the summer, but with slippery roads reducing control and high snowbanks blocking vision during winter it seems like just a matter of time before somebody gets killed. Plus the one-way nature of White Street in recent years means there are more cars crossing from Pine to Shafter, further complicating things.
In my opinion a lot of these hotshot drivers, those who are not simply stupid, are outright sociopaths, and as their reckless gambling with the lives of innocent strangers becomes more and more the norm we risk spiraling into some sort of third-world type situation on our roadways.