Watching Out For the Next Wreck

It was just another wreck, and as always, at the same place: the spot where our little County road meets the State highway. The skid marks tell the story, as black lines on the pavement threading the needle between log trucks and morning commuters, leading to a still-smoking car mashed up against a barbed wire fence. A neighbor stopped by as I was checking on the driver—no injuries, thankfully—, and rolled down his window: “Another one?” Yep. You see, it happens all the time. A few years back I called the man down at the County and asked if they couldn’t do something to cut down on the frequency of accidents at that site, maybe add some rumble strips or a couple more warning signs. He told me no, they wouldn’t, for the simple reason that according to “The Manual”, the traffic controls already in place there should be perfectly adequate. After all, there was a STOP AHEAD and a STOP sign, and it was a simple intersection. I mentioned that it seemed fairly obvious that the controls, in fact, were not adequate, based on the number of wrecks that occurred there. I also suggested that if he needed evidence he could bring a flat-tipped shovel and a wheel barrow and scoop up the broken windshield glass and little bits of plastic that lined the ditch. Or, just tally up the stitches on the foreheads of the unlucky drivers who landed there. The rest of the conversation didn’t go very well, and I was left wondering why. Aside from my snippy comments, the sc

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