Speeding poses a serious risk

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By Khalil J. Spencer

Dear Editor,

On Feb. 8, you note that the Magistrate Court report will no longer list “traffic related cases unless alcohol, drugs or an accident is involved.” I wonder why such an omission, since traffic violations endanger the community. Sooner or later, someone’s misuse of their motor vehicle will lead to injury, death and to property damage.NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) records for 2005 indicate that while approximately 17,000 of our annual national traffic deaths involved alcohol use, approximately 10,000 involved speeding. Likewise, based on my following of local traffic safety related information, it seems that driver error or malfeasance is responsible for a disproportionate share of our traffic accidents. Indeed, these are not merely accidents. They are predictable outcomes of bad driving.That includes a crash about a week ago that I came upon shortly after it happened. A young driver had just lost control of his vehicle on an icy road and plowed his car into a tree. The fortunate soul, uninjured, indicated to me that somehow, the now badly battered car was going too fast. Indeed it was, but it needed help to do so. Tough on the tree, too.Thus, the prevalence of traffic infractions is probably a good indicator of traffic risk and therefore risk to our community. We live in a relatively violent crime-free community. We don’t have to risk drive-by shootings, muggings or have to worry about crystal meth labs blowing up left and right. I would surmise that among our tangible risks of unintended death or injury include involvement in a traffic mishap.Therefore, the public should see who is endangering us through the willful misuse of their motor vehicles. Given the lame fines I’ve seen levied by our local courts, the minimal added penalty of public humiliation is the least the public can ask for.Khalil J. SpencerLos Alamos