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02/22/2023 08:08 AM

Please Slow Down

One of the joys of living on the Shoreline is the miles of scenic roads allowing us to enjoy our outdoor sports. But the tragic, near fatal, collision between an automobile and a cyclist this winter on Route 146 in Guilford should give us all pause. We can hope that cyclists and others use extra vigilance as they enjoy our roads, and we can hope that drivers take extra care as well.

Sadly, it seems some drivers simply have not learned these lessons. In the early afternoon of Feb. 13, I was heading northbound on my bicycle on Mungertown Road in Madison. Mungertown is narrow and winding in that section, so I was shocked and terrified to find myself face to face with an oncoming pickup truck in my lane approaching at a high rate of speed. The pickup was passing a slower car across the double yellow line and swerved around me — missing me by inches.

Sadly this is not the only time my friends and I have experienced reckless and sometimes aggressive behavior by drivers. My question to those aggressive drivers is, “is it worth it?” Have you thought through the implications of seriously injuring or killing another human being just so you can save a few seconds in your travels?

And yes, some cyclists disobey traffic laws. We shouldn’t. But let’s not pretend a cyclist running a stop sign on an otherwise empty road is in any way equivalent to a driver of a 2,000-pound machine threatening the life of that cyclist.

Please slow down.

Paul Hermes