To the Editor:
Nowhere in Susanne Hinkle’s article “Death Trap” did she state the reasons for the deaths of drivers and passengers in the canal that runs alongside Airline Drive through St. Charles Parish. Those reasons are excessive speed, carelessness and inattentiveness and poor education and driving skills.
There are many of us who have driven that stretch of highway for many years without succumbing to the “Death Trap.” I have driven it for 57 years without running off the roadway even once or being involved in any accidents. There is a reason for that accident-free record. First, I obey the speed limits. Second, my attention when driving is focused on driving. My eyes are on the roadway ahead, on the side roads entering the highway ahead and on the traffic behind me. Third, I am a good driver. I have learned the rules of the road and the laws regarding operating a motor vehicle. I practice defensive driving and courteous driving.
The speed limit on Airline Drive through Norco and Goodhope is 45 mph. If you drive at 45 in that area, I can assure you that almost every other vehicle on the road will pass you. The speed limit between Goodhope and Saint Rose is 55mph. If you drive at that speed, you will again be passed by almost every other vehicle on the road.
On the matter of attention to driving, take a look at the drivers around you and see how many are being distracted. I once had a candidate for sheriff pass me while reading a newswpaper. He was the driver of the car and there were no other occupants in it. There are cars going down the highway with music playing so loudly that it vibrates the windows in my vehicle. The drivers appear to be dancing in their seats.
Don’t blame the highway or the canal for the deaths. Don’t penalize the rest of us by setting unnecessarilly low speed limits on the highway in an attempt to change the driving habits of poor drivers. Place the blame where it belongs, which is on the poor drivers. Enforce the laws in a consistent manner and the problem of the “Death Trap” will be taken care of.
John S. Perilloux