Letter to the Editor: School bus stop and emergency responder fatalities preventable

Dear Editor,

Should students waiting for the school bus and emergency responders helping those in need fear greater danger on our roads with each passing day? Has distracted, impaired and unsafe driving risen to the level that it could finally be called the epidemic that it is? If not, what will it take? The world we live in is challenging enough, with many things simply out of our control. However, driving is one place where we can and should be absolutely in control and part of the safety solution. Each of us has the responsibility to ourselves, our families and friends and every single person around us to be a safe and courteous driver toward all with whom we share the road. Tragically, recent news reports tell the story of school children and emergency responders killed in horrific and PREVENTABLE crashes.

Year after year, surveys by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety find that an attitude of “do as I say, not as I do” persists among motorists, many of whom admit to engaging in the same dangerous behaviors that they criticize as being “unacceptable.”

All of the statistics, all of the calls for change from transportation safety advocates and victim impact groups will not save a single life or prevent a single crash if nobody takes action to change their behaviors. We can and must improve the safety of our roads, but it will take every individual driver making the conscious decision to be unwaveringly laser focused on safe driving to change the future. It will also take every passenger in a vehicle holding their driver accountable for safe driving practices.

Together, one by one, we CAN make our roads safer and restore the freedom and expectation that we and our loved ones should be secure in our daily travels. Please put down your phone, avoid other distractions and make the decision to put safety first every time you slide behind the wheel.

Shawn Steward

AAA Kansas, Wichita

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