Every day after work, I wait for the bus on Second Avenue across from city hall. During my five- to 10-minute wait, I watch hundreds of cars drive along Second Avenue in both directions. What I see does not inspire confidence in Whitehorse drivers.
More than that, it downright scares me. I fear that it is just a matter of time before another fatality occurs along that stretch of road. (If you’ve lived here for any length of time, you know there have already been traffic deaths on this part of Second Avenue, usually involving pedestrians.)
I see drivers going way too fast for the road conditions. Even with snow tires, a vehicle needs considerably more time to stop on slippery roads than on dry pavement. Worse, I see drivers talking on cellphones, sometimes with children in the car.
I see pedestrians bravely (foolishly?) attempting to cross Second Ave. at Steele and Wood streets, sometimes with little apparent regard for their safety. Particularly scary to observe is the Wood Street intersection. Despite the fact that there is a pedestrian-activated crosswalk signal – which, for some unfathomable reason, some pedestrians do not bother to activate – I have witnessed many close calls and one rear-ender there. I have held my breath on more than one occasion as an inattentive driver speeds towards the intersection, unaware that someone is crossing the road.
Please, Whitehorse drivers, slow down. Do you really have to arrive at your destination 30 seconds sooner than you would if you drove at a safer speed? Stop texting, tweeting, and talking on your mobile devices while you’re behind the wheel. It’s illegal, stupid, and recklessly unsafe.
And please watch for pedestrians. If a car ahead of you slows down or stops – even if its turn signal is on – there’s a good chance someone you may not be able to see yet is crossing the road. You do not want to be responsible for a tragedy this holiday season, or at any other time of the year.