Editorial: Many times, the innocent suffer the consequences

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Yesterday, we had not one, not two, but three news items in The Daily OBSERVER relating to serious road accidents. In two of those incidents someone died and in the other, two people were rushed to the hospital complaining of pains to the neck, head and other parts of the body.
The most recent incident occurred in Willikies Village. According to Leonard Cabral, head of the traffic department, the driver was speeding at 75 miles per hour travelling in the vicinity of the Willikies Primary School when he lost control of the vehicle, and his car hit a wall. There is so much wrong with that type of behaviour that we find ourselves in a state of anger.
First, 75 miles per hour?!? What could be so important that someone would have to drive at 75 miles per hour on our dilapidated roads? Was someone dying and being rushed to the hospital? Because, ironically that is what essentially happened; except, it happened after the car hit a wall. Older folk have a saying when they see unnecessary speeding. They say that he/she must be late for their funeral. The wisdom of those words is applicable to this situation. The driver seems to want to speed to his own demise.
Then, if the speeding was not enough, it was done near a school at about 7:40 a.m. What would possess a person to speed near a school at that time during the day? And to make matters worse, there were two other people in the car. So the driver not only put himself at risk, he put others at risk, including his passengers. What gives a person that right? If you want to get your thrills by going excessively fast, then there are two racetracks in Antigua that will oblige your need for speed.
The outcome of that bit of aggressiveness was that two persons were hospitalised and the driver taken into custody and possibly facing charges of dangerous driving. What a great way to start the day.
Like this incident, very often it is the innocent who suffer or die. People, just going along minding their business, suffer from the selfish driving habits and decision of others. Just take the incident that happened recently with 45-year-old businesswoman Novelette Carlene Brooks. She was peacefully driving along with her friend Sharon Finlayson on Sir Sydney Walling Highway but apparently, she was not going fast enough.
Two men, in vehicles behind of her, decided that Ms. Brooks’ pace was too slow, and they were in a hurry. In what is an obvious lack of common sense and an abandonment of due caution, they both decided to pass her vehicle at the same time. The domino effect caused by the apparent recklessness of these two men caused Ms. Brooks’ vehicle to be forced off the road. After the unnecessary accident, both innocent women were rushed to the hospital by the Emergency Medical Services in critical condition. Luckily for Ms. Finlayson, her injuries were relatively minor, and she was treated and released.
There was no happy ending for Ms. Brooks and her family, however. In hospital, she laid in a coma having suffered severe brain injury, fractured ribs and damaged lungs. She died a few days later, leaving her family and friends to suffer and mourn her loss.
Now, we are certain that the devastating results of those decisions to overtake the slower moving vehicle driven by Ms. Brooks never crossed the minds of the two drivers behind. They would likely say that they never dreamed that anything like that could ever happen. And that is the problem!
Too many times on the road, we all witness aggressive or plain stupid driving that leaves us shaking our heads and wondering if people do not think. How many times have we witnessed driving that has us shouting out loud, “What is (s)he doing?” The possibilities of something bad happening are obvious to witnesses, but somehow it is never obvious to those who are taking the action.
It is this selfish driving attitude that gets people in trouble. There is no forethought as to what repercussions their risky driving might deliver. Some of the worst offenders figure that the other drivers will be more cautious and get out of the way. It is this type of insane logic that gets people killed.
There is no magic wand to this correct this situation. There is education, but that has limited effect on selfish people. What we need is enforcement and consequence. We all have a responsibility to each other not to infringe on their safety and peaceful enjoyment of life. If we abandon those responsibilities, then there must be consequences for the perpetrators of those selfish acts.
We invite you to visit www.antiguaobserver.com and give us your feedback on our opinions.

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