To the editor:
Pompey Center Road runs between Route 92 in Manlius and Route 80 in Fabius. It is a two-lane country road. It is gravel, pavement and paint; an inanimate non-living thing. By itself it poses no danger. Hundreds of cars travel this road daily without incident. However, with the addition of some variables unfortunate things can happen along its length.
Looking at the accidents “by the numbers” doesn’t yield enough information to understand why accidents occur on Pompey Center Road.Look at what we do know; two recent fatal accidents involved drivers who were under age 25, at night and some element of speed. The “near-fatal” in June involved a person under age 25, speed and poor judgment. The fatal with the 45-year-old driver involved speed and distraction. All the variables were under the control of the driver, not the road they were on.
Cellphone use and texting, and other distractions, including playing with the GPS, eating and drinking, are all factors that can contribute to accidents. They are harder to prove than causes such as driving while intoxicated or speeding. Unless the driver survives and can remember the seconds before an accident, we often have to hypothesize the cause. In many cases driver error is at the root of it. The driver chooses to do something risky and possibly illegal that causes the accident. They make a choice.
I drive Pompey Center Road often. I do not text while I drive or talk on my cell phone. I stay aware of my surroundings. I don’t drink then drive or drive if I’m overtired. I adjust my driving habits for the weather. I wear my seatbelt. This road poses no danger to me. The road itself is no more dangerous than any other.
Now, some drivers out there are another matter. Everyday I see people talking on their cell phone while driving, on purpose, because they choose to. It’s against the law in NYS to talk on a cell phone while driving. I see individuals looking down at their lap and back up at the windshield, usually again and again, as they drive. We all know they are reading a text or sending one, on purpose, because they choose to. It’s against the law to text while driving in NYS. Do you see where I am going with this? Choice…