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Simply Go Slow

In the past weeks a lot of talk has been generated on the Times Facebook page and others about the drivers who ignore the speed limits while driving through the Village of Waterville.

Waterville is by far not alone with this problem. Read any of our stories from other municipalities and see the same issue in Oriskany Falls, Marshall, Clinton and Kirkland. Couple that need for speed with growing driver inattention, as evidenced by those drivers who fail to heed the law by stopping for school buses or who hit pedestrians or cyclists while texting.

And don’t even get us started on the ignorance of drivers on how to handle pedestrians at a crosswalk.

The solution for municipalities has been to lower the speed limit. Waterville dropped to 30 mph through residential areas leaving the village. In Clinton, the school speed zone went down to 15 mph, a limit which - speaking from experience - even when you take your foot off the gas and coast, you still need to use your brake. But it works.

Much of the discussion on social media has been to add other elements: an even lower speed, speed bumps, stop signs or even stoplights. Those are costly and take time to happen. There seems to be a much better, quicker answer.

Slow down and obey the law.

This whole discussion sounds like one teachers and coaches have. For the good of everyone, rules are set up. Ninety percent, maybe more, of the group follows the rules. A small minority does not.

And what happens? That small minority captures most of the attention of the person in charge and the rest of the group to have rules changes to get their way.

So, if you see no need to follow the speed limit, or think the rules don’t apply, here’s why they do: it’s for the safety of others, be it other drivers or pedestrians or cyclists or those who live in the speed zone area.

Feel free when you are out on a country road with no one around to do 80 mph and put yourself in danger. But if New York state said you were smart enough to have a driver’s license, then back that up by being smart enough to match the number on the speed limit sign with the maximum number on your dashboard speedometer.

If everyone follows the rules, that will solve the problem.

The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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