Letter to the Editor: Bottom line for drivers: Slow down

Thank you for your editorial (Our View: Rise in reckless driving another consequence of COVID, April 9, 2021) highlighting the dangers on Maine roads over this past pandemic year. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s new Initiative, “SlowMEDown,” offers statistics and information that indicate the issue is hardly new to Maine. A 2020 automobile analysis ranked Maine No. 1 for the most accident-prone drivers in the U.S. (Lendingtree-Best and Worst Drivers by state, 2018)

According to AAA, the average chance of surviving a crash involving an automobile traveling at 20 mph and a biker or walker is 93 percent. That drops to 55 percent chance of survival if the car’s traveling at just 40 mph. (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2011)

I have had two very close calls with reckless drivers in Portland: once while walking my dog and once on my bike. Either instance could have resulted in tragedy. I spoke out about these occurrences during a district meeting, as others also shared deep concerns about their children waiting for school buses and needing to cross busy streets.

The bottom line for drivers: Slow down! The roads belong to all of us. You are not privileged above others using the roads.

Visit bikemaine.org/slow-me-down/ to learn more and join the effort to make Maine’s roads safer for everyone.

Mary Ann Larson

See the original via the Portland Press Herald.

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