Editorial: recklessness won’t end with road crews | NevadaAppeal.com

Editorial: recklessness won’t end with road crews

by staff

Supervisors in several Nevada counties took appropriate steps this week to suspend the practice of sending young people to clean up highway roadsides, but we believe most will eventually put the crews back to work.

The precautions came about as a response to the senseless deaths of six teenagers near Las Vegas. They were struck by a car on Interstate 15, and the driver is suspected of being under the influence of drugs.

Can there be a heightened sense of safety for anyone working in a heavily traveled area? Yes. Can more be done to mark the work zones? To alert motorists of people in the area? Yes.

We are immediately reminded of the television advertising campaign in which construction-zone flaggers urge drivers to slow down and pay more attention. Several of the flaggers featured in the commercials are mothers, who remind us that they have families waiting for them at home at the end of the day.

Yet the truth of the matter is that drunk or drugged drivers are a hazard to everyone in their path. Orange vests, cones, flashing lights, warning signs – somehow, all too often, a driver who isn’t in control of his vehicle or his faculties manages to remain oblivious to all of them.

Responsible drivers heed the public-service messages and the “Caution. Road Crew Ahead” signs. Irresponsible drivers don’t. It’s as simple and as frustrating as that.

Review the procedures. Increase the precautionary measures. Weigh the danger in each situation against the benefit. Never forget the lives that were lost on a Las Vegas highway.

Policies may be established to keep teenagers off the 70-mph freeways; still, a car can be just as deadly going 45 mph on a county blacktop.

Should we suspend the program entirely? No. Not because of one recklessly deadly driver.