The letter by Leo Khmelniker (The Mountain Times, Jan. 27-Feb. 2, 2016) brings to mind several facts not known by the general public.
Information furnished by the Rutland Region Planning Commission shows Killington Road to have the highest accident rate in Rutland County. These accidents occur at no specific location. They may involve single or multiple vehicles and head on, side, rear or frontal collisions. Fortunately, they result mostly in bent metal and few injuries. However, the accidents are still more inconvenient than a traffic ticket.
The Killington Planning Commission has spent many hours debating how to calm traffic on the Killington Road. The crosswalk recently installed at Dean Hill Road by the firehouse is one effort to calm traffic, aid pedestrians and comply with a state Complete Streets mandate. The commission has debated but is yet unable to agree on other measures such as traffic lights, roundabouts, reducing the number of lanes from three to two, or speed bumps.
The best, most effective solution to the problem rests with the driver respecting traffic laws, including the speed limit, and practicing patience and courtesy. This will help reduce the accident count and traffic tickets on the road thereby reducing stress and frustration for all users. When another driver offends you by an act such as cutting you off, the offender may not even know they offended you. Even if they did they probably would not care. Thus, committing an aggressive act toward the offender such as blowing your horn or giving them the national salute only serves to raise your frustration, stress and distraction level. The better solution is to practice patience and give them the courtesy of the benefit of the doubt by assuming they did not know what they did. This will allow you to improve your ability to spot the next kamikaze that may invade your space.
The speed limit on Killington Road is 35 mph. Speed limits are set considering many factors, including line of sight, traffic density and road conditions. Sections of the road have, like around Moguls, limited line of sight. In these areas vehicles traveling on Killington Road at 35 mph provide vehicles entering the road from side streets and driveways ample opportunity to do so. Vehicles traveling above 35 mph in these situations create unneeded dramatic situations and encounters of the unwelcome kind.
One method of reducing the unwelcome encounters and inconvenience of an accident is speed enforcement, resulting in the alternative encounter as experienced by Mr. Khmelniker.
Another little-known fact is that the greatest source of injuries and death to police officers is the car stop, especially when someone gets out of the car. Police work often is hours of boredom surrounded by moments of terror. One example of a moment of terror is when someone gets out of a car an officer has stopped without having been told to. Even mothers with children can injure and kill a police officer. Like most people, Mrs. Khmelniker probably did not know this.
If stopped, stay in your vehicle with your hands visible unless instructed otherwise. Do not tell the officer a story that is not true. The officer has probably heard the story before and will not believe it. As lying to a law enforcement officer is a crime, the story could result in criminal charges and jail.
In summary, by respecting our traffic laws, practicing patience with and exhibiting courtesy to other users of our roads, you can improve your driving experience while reducing the possibility of the inconvenience of an accident and/or traffic violation on the Killington Road.
David A. Rosenblum, Killington