The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Opinion

August 11, 2013

Arriving five minutes late not so bad

It seems like everyday there is another wreck in downtown Greenville.

While downtown is certainly a busy place, the high volume of wrecks is not simply a result of high traffic volume. The fact is, many drivers ignore basic traffic laws that govern one way streets, attempt to speed through lights quickly turning red, or are not paying attention.

The quantity of wrecks downtown is staggering — drivers running into each other, into people, and into sign poles. Considering that downtown probably has the highest amount of pedestrians in all of Greenville, the risk of a tragedy occurring is very real.

So how do we prevent, or at least limit, the amount of wrecks downtown? Most strategies are simply common sense, but we still need to be reminded of them.

1) Take your time. Even with 26,000+ people in Greenville, it doesn’t take that much time to get anywhere in the city.

2) Leave for your destination earlier. If you’re stressed because you’re late for work/an appointment, etc., just leave five or 10 minutes earlier.

3) Learn which streets are one-way. One-way streets are definitely difficult for drivers to understand and react to. The vast majority of our driving experience is done on two-way streets. Downtown Greenville can be even more confusing, with some two-ways turning into one-ways and vice-versa. Drive through downtown during a light traffic period and become more comfortable with the layout. It’s also important to turn into the correct lane when turning from a one-way street onto another one.

4) Always use caution. Don’t speed through yellow lights, but don’t gun it when you see a green light, either. Watch for pedestrians, especially while turning.

5) Use proper turn signals. It’s important to communicate with other drivers, and turn signals are a great (and legally-necessary) way to communicate.

6) Don’t text and drive. Texting while driving is distracting, and being distracted while operating a steel machine that weighs thousands of pounds and moves at 30+ mph is just a bad idea (and, in some locations, illegal).

Remember, in the grand scheme of things, being five minutes late or having to sit through another red light is a far better scenario than getting into a wreck or injuring someone.

The opinion expressed here is that of the Herald-Banner editorial board. The board can be reached at editor@heraldbanner.com.

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