Letters to the Editor

First things first

Peter J. Woolley writes [Dec. 29] regarding 44,000 automobile deaths in 2006. He provides the perspective that the chance of winning the lottery is just one in 175 million, but the chance of dying in an automobile crash is one in 84 over a lifetime.

Most disturbing is his statement, "The public is not to blame." He claims nothing will change without public outcry demanding government action and strict regulation. An example is the need for smaller and slower cars. I don't disagree this could be helpful, but let's be honest: People's lives are also saved because the government has imposed laws for seatbelts, airbags and other safety features in cars.

A large number of deaths result from speeding, red-light running, drunken driving and not wearing seatbelts. Some are inclined to ask an officer issuing a citation, "Don't you have something better to do?" The answer is "no" they don't, not while 44,000 people are dying each year.

We need to obey traffic laws and speed limits, wear seatbelts and not drink and drive. I'm not saying that additional safety regulations couldn't be helpful, but if the nation did this first, just imagine how many lives we could save.

Ann D. Kloose