Editorial

EDITORIAL: Aggressive Drivers Increase Road Deaths

If you haven’t seen or experienced it, there’s no doubt you’re aware of aggressive and dangerous drivers moving through the streets in D.C. “They’re off the hook” as some would say and road deaths are increasing because of them.

Red lights, stop signs and speed limits are insignificant to drivers who are going nowhere fast. They hurriedly zig-zag between cars, speed around stopped Metro buses and gun their engines down residential streets by day and night, traveling twice the speed limit, as if no one cares.

Roadway fatalities in D.C. are on the rise and the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day have proven to be the deadliest days for teen drivers. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is showing how much she cares by putting District dollars into traffic equipment and technology to make D.C. streets safer for drivers, bikers and pedestrians and to reduce road deaths.

“We need drivers to slow down,” Bowser said at a recent press conference, adding, “not just because they’re avoiding a ticket but so they don’t kill people on our streets and sidewalks.”

To date, MPD has reported 17 car deaths, compared to 15 this time last year, out of a total of 37 in 2020. Car deaths are increasing, despite a low of 19 deaths in 2012.  

Last April, a 4-year-old boy in Northwest ran into the street and was struck by a vehicle. He later died. Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George told a reporter, “Without even piecing it together, there are always ways to make our streets safer for pedestrians. Pedestrians are young children,” she said.

No one wants to see more traffic cameras on our streets but the research shows they effectively reduce speeding that causes road deaths. We agree with Mayor Bowser and a significant number of District residents who feel, if you obey the law, the cameras are of no consequence, except to potentially protect you from those who don’t.

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