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The Commons
Voices / Letters from readers

Laws of physics override traffic regulations

Originally published in The Commons issue #419 (Wednesday, August 2, 2017).

Pedestrians have the right of way, right?

Wrong! Pedestrians have the right of way when a car is stopped or has time and distance enough to stop before colliding with a pedestrian in its path.

The laws of physics supersede the human made-up “laws” of the road. A car traveling at 30 mph (the speed limit on Western Avenue in West Brattleboro) needs 109 feet to stop (that is 36 yards for football fans).

Friday afternoon traffic on Western Avenue is heavy and does not usually allow 109 feet between vehicles. Any pedestrian stepping out onto Western Avenue into that stream of traffic is going to be hit and, most likely, killed. State police are now investigating at least five deaths resulting from pedestrian/vehicle crashes in Brattleboro.

These are totally avoidable tragedies.

Does Brattleboro need an educational program for pedestrian safety? In schools, for sure! And also for adults who jaywalk?

As a professional driver, I am afraid that a pedestrian could walk out in front of my vehicle, leaving no room or time for averting a deadly collision. I encourage the town of Brattleboro and the state Department of Public Health to consider developing and promoting a pedestrian safety program for our town and the community at large.

Lynn Russell


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