Record editorial: Slow down and pay attention, drivers
Temperatures are warming, flowers have bloomed and Parkites — mountain bikes in tow — are flocking to trails that are drying out at the lower elevations. Spring in Summit County is in full swing.
Drivers need to slow down and pay extra close attention to their surroundings, though, even without the unplowed roads and icy patches of winter. The spring and summer months present numerous challenges of their own when you get behind the wheel.
For one, drivers must navigate a litany of construction zones, sometimes dodging poorly placed barrels and remaining constantly attentive for hard hat-clad workers or other hazards. Already, construction season is well underway in Summit County, most notably along S.R. 248 in Park City.
We also need to be vigilant for bicyclists, who are out in full force after a long winter and have just as much right to the road as drivers.
The unfortunate reality is most of us are guilty of occasional lapses when driving, whether it’s fiddling with the radio, taking our eyes off the road to tend to a child in the backseat or talking on a cellphone. But that’s playing a dangerous game — not paying attention for even one moment can prove disastrous.
More dangerous, still, is road rage, which seems to be an all-too-common occurrence these days. No one wants to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic in a construction zone, or be caught behind a bicyclist traveling under the speed limit. But take a deep breath. Listen to the radio and relax. You’ll get where you’re going, even if it takes a few minutes longer than you’d like.
Already this spring there has been at least one fatal incident in Summit County, involving a bicyclist in Coalville who was killed by a pickup truck whose driver told the authorities he didn’t see the victim as he turned into a driveway. The situation is a tragedy for everyone involved, and drivers must do everything they can to see to it that no one else loses their lives or is seriously injured on our roads this year.
Slow down. Keep your eyes on the road. And for goodness’ sake, the text message you just received, no matter how important, can wait until you’re parked.
Drivers have to share the road with others. This spring and summer, let’s make sure to do it safely.
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Our view: As Park City and the rest of Utah continue to attract more and more visitors from around the world each winter, the effects on our community will continue to grow.