Pets, Children, Speeders on
By Suzan Thompson
October 09, 2008
The writers of recent letters addressing the pet, child, traffic
problems on North Point Higgins all make excellent points. Ms.
Bailey and Ms. O'Bryan are absolutely correct that there are
far too many dogs allowed to run at large on this busy road.
Ms. Shull is also correct when she says that speeding drivers
are a big problem and I agree with her suggestion that if residents
consistently call to report speeders when they see them, there
may be some stepped-up enforcement. The State Troopers have always
been willing to respond quickly to reports of reckless driving
whenever I have had to call them. As far as I'm concerned, they
can park in my driveway all day long and write tickets until
they run out of ink. If it checks the tendency of drivers to
drive 42 in a 25 mph zone because they're never sure if there's
a Trooper up ahead, that's great.
However, I do disagree with the comment that any driver doing
the 25 mph speed limit or under would have ample time to stop
in the event that a dog or child darted out in front of the car.
Children standing quietly by the side of the road one minute
can be out in front of a moving vehicle in just a few steps.
A small child can be seriously injured or killed in a 10 mph
collision with any automobile, let alone the large commercial
vehicles which regularly use North Point Higgins. Drivers concerned
about the movements of children up ahead of them on the road
may not see another child dart out from the side and fall near
the rear wheels. Any resident of NPH can tell you that before
and after school and in dry weather, the road is full of groups
of schoolchildren pushing each other on and off the sidewalks,
kids riding their bicycles and tricycles straight down the center
line, and can also attest that there are plenty of children as
young as three and four years of age who are allowed to play
unattended on the edge of the road. Child control is just as
much a concern to me as is pet control.
Which brings me to my final point: yesterday when I drove home
at two p.m. there were no children out and about, but I counted
six dogs in the right-hand side of the road and one in the left-hand
side between Rigging Lane and Beacon Hill Lane. These are the
same dogs we always see in the road out here; apparently when
the leash laws went into effect they were grandfathered in, as
they spend their days playing largely unmolested in the same
spots. I have come to realize that no amount of hand-wringing
on the part of people concerned for the dogs is going to matter
in the slightest. The owners already know that it is dangerous
for their dogs to be out on the roadway. They just do not care.
To many pet owners, dogs are expendable and easily replaceable,
and any dog killed in a collision with a vehicle can be replaced
with a cute new puppy, and the cycle starts over again. I believe
that only a hefty fine or a trip to civil court with a driver
who claims damages for emotional trauma because he or she cannot
get rid of the mental picture of a screaming bloody dog dying
in the road is going to have any effect on these owners. Losing
their dog may be no big deal, but a financial wallop might get
their attention. When you see these dogs in the road, call Animal
Control at 225-2880, describe the dog, tell them the dog is going
to cause an accident, and ask them to come and pick it up.
It is a child-control issue, a pet-control issue, and a speed-control
issue, and I am sure that we would all agree that every parent,
pet owner, and driver can commit to making a difference.
About: "Resident of North
Point Higgins "
Received October 07, 2008 -
Published October 09, 2008
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