LETTER: Turn on headlights


SweetBay, the 704-acre development proposed for the old airport property, eventually will bring 3,200 homes to the northwest corner of the city — which currently has only about four main outlets for traffic. The city anticipates an impact to traffic in the area and will vote on a $3.1 million package, paid by the developer, for “mobility improvements” during the next commission meeting.

Heather Leiphart / The News Herald
Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 at 12:58 PM.

I read recently that the Walton County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with a company to do a public awareness campaign about the hazards of the “distracted driver.” 

From what I saw, this campaign will be primarily about the danger of texting and talking on a mobile phone while driving. Apparently, the number of crashes from distracted drivers has surpassed the number of crashes from drunk driving.

I think it is commendable that the Sheriff’s Office has joined in this campaign. Perhaps it will reduce the number of drivers texting/talking while driving and thus reduce the number of crashes and injuries and deaths. I hope so. 

While companies are producing campaigns, I wish someone would produce one on the hazards of not turning on headlights when it is raining or there is fog. I drive Highway 98 regularly for work, and I am appalled and aggravated at the number of people who drive with no lights when it is pouring rain or the fog is so dense that I cannot see a car length in front of me. I guess these drivers think they do not need the headlights to see — and perhaps they do not. But, I (and all the other drivers) need the headlights and rear lights to see them.

During the recent weeks when we have had challenging weather, to say the least, I have been doing an informal, random survey of drivers on Highway 98 when it is raining, foggy, or icy.

From my non-scientific survey I can tell you that it is almost always those drivers who have a silver, white, or tan vehicle who do not turn on their lights. They are the very vehicles that are impossible to see in the rain and fog until one is practically upon them and it is sometimes too late to avoid hitting them. 

Why do people not turn on their lights? I have no answer for that. I drive a silver car and I want people to see me in the rain. Some people may have automatic lights — I do. But, many people must not realize that those automatic lights do not turn on the rear lights.

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