Our View: Taking control on speed issue

A memorial sits near the site of where Collin Gore and Joel Godfrey died in a head-on collision on McBean Parkway near Decoro Drive on Monday night. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Earlier this week several local citizens wrote letters to the editor to opine on the careless way we drive here in Awesometown. In one of the letters a doctor used science to make his point and shared his concerns over our safety while traveling on our streets. Another writer shared with our readers the battle she has fought to make our streets safer. Both expressed their sincere and heartfelt condolence for the lives lost on McBean Parkway this past Monday night, one 18 and another 34.

One had just graduated from high school. This tragedy leaves behind mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and a community that must deal with the aftermath of such a tragedy.

So, what’s the answer to the persistent problems of local traffic accidents resulting in driver, passenger and pedestrian fatalities?

Lower speed limits on our roads may help and the city should look at additional traffic studies. But the city has been engaged in that work for many years and has intensified its efforts recently. Should there be an end to major arterial roads like McBean Parkway, Newhall Ranch Road or Golden Valley Road? We think not.

The city, state or federal government can’t fully protect us from ourselves. We need to change. As letter writer Dr. Pin pointed out, we need to stop taking speed limits signs as a suggestion and we need to stop gaming law enforcement by nudging our speed over the limit by just a small number in order to avoid major consequences.

The preliminary findings in the recent McBean crash were that one of the vehicles may have been traveling at a very high rate of speed when the driver lost control and hit the other car head on. No reduced speed limit would have likely changed the circumstances of this incident.

So we urge citizens to call city councilmembers to encourage them to further increase traffic enforcement both during daylight hours and throughout the night. Also, any amount over the speed limit should earn a ticket not just an excessive amount. Maybe monetary consequences will be the only thing that will change our behavior.

We just don’t believe that it’s our streets that are the problem.

Let’s all just slow down and we will live longer.

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