Sunday, January 9, 2011

Roads Can Be Tricky And Dangerous

I took just one week to arrive at our first traffic fatality of this year and we came very near making it a full week.

Last night, in the cold and dark of a winter which is barely started, our old nemesis struck with the help of some seasonal friends. The nasty roads decided to team up with a little snow and ice to reach out an punish our hapless drivers.

I really think that something should be done to hold these cruel villains at bay. For many years now they have preyed upon our drivers, young and old alike. Maybe there should be a law to prohibit them from conspiring with each other to commit dastardly deeds like property damage, sometimes amounting to large sums of money, injury and even death.

I used to think that it was the drivers themselves, but that cannot be the case. Auto drivers have been around for just about a century and surely know how to handle their autos. They have to take tests in order to get permission to operate an automobile. I have heard that many people believe these tests are quite difficult. I didn't think that it was so bad but Mrs. Sweeper says that it was my eyes that caused the problem.

I also realize that it not just the wintertime conditions which are the culprits, these things happen all during the year. Roads are slick in warmer weather when they team up with rain and fog. Trees and fences, both wood and stone, sometimes get in the act but a road is usually not far off(probably giving encouragement). How can we get these fellow to stay away from each other? What is a safe distance to keep them apart.

Roads have been around for a long time. Just about as long as people have been moving from one place to another. Is it just in the last century that roads and their friends have become dangerous? If I remember correctly, European roads used to be friends with roaming bands of highwaymen, helping them to attack and rob unsuspecting travelers in out-of-the-way places. It seems that they have been at it for a while, but lately they have upped their game.

I have heard of some fatalities occurring when the roads are behaving themselves and the weather is calm and beautiful. At those times I feel that drivers are just hoping that the roads and their friends will come out to play. Sometimes, maybe the roads are just too tired to care. That is when the automobiles get to play their tricks on drivers

This a photo of a sleeping road just being lazy

Come to think of it, roads are designed and built by man, so could it be sometimes, just sometimes, that roads may be forced to lie in places that they just don't want to be? Places that good self-respecting roads just shouldn't be seen? Are roads predestined to go bad or are they inherently evil?

I guess that we are lucky to have a dedicated police force and an equally alert news media, so that when the extremes of weather occur they caution us about the roads (and their tricky friends). Sometime they warn us about the portions of roads which just go and hide themselves, usually under water but sometimes under entire hillsides. It takes a lot of work to get them to come back out again.

I have come to the conclusion that roads, and that includes their local cousins, the streets, can be very tricky and unpredictable. Any time that you venture out on them, you have to be very careful and vigilant, especially when there is bad weather in the neighborhood. They will conspire to get you.

There, now you know a little more about roads and their friends. Be careful when you go out on them, they will always be up to something.

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