Another crash on the “Highway of Death”

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Statistics claim that between 2001 and 2011 there were nine deaths due to road crashes on a short stretch of Highway 148 here in west Quebec; my son is included in the nine. Hearing there has been another serious crash brings me back to that terrible morning on April 16, 2011.

Statistics claim that between 2001 and 2011 there were nine deaths due to road crashes on a short stretch of Highway 148 here in west Quebec; my son is included in the nine. Hearing there has been another serious crash brings me back to that terrible morning on April 16, 2011. I am initially driven to tears and thoughts of the never ending torment and pain the families and friends of the victims are about to endure. My heart breaks for those people and I offer them my deepest sympathies for the deceased and prayers for a full recovery for the driver of the other vehicle, regardless of the reasons for the crash.
The first reaction by the general public is usually shock and surprise, then the inevitable reaction of people claiming how dangerous that stretch of road is and how something should be done about it by the government. I agree that it may be in the best interest of the government and those who drive the road to look at how that deadly stretch of road could be made safer. I also think the government alone cannot take complete responsibility for reducing the number of crashes on what I call the “Highway of Death.”
Drivers have an even greater responsibility to treat the 148 with the respect it deserves and understand that it is very easy to get into serious trouble while driving it. We’ve got to constantly remind ourselves that we, as drivers, are obligated to avoid taking unnecessary risks while behind the wheel; I have been tailgated while on my way to friends’ houses, and people have passed at ridiculous speeds both on the four lane portion and the two lane stretches as well.
It’s up to us, not the government to make this highway and all roads safer. We’ve got to slow down, and we must pay attention. If you’re in a hurry, leave earlier or accept the fact that you may be late. Don’t, under any circumstance, drive under the influence of any substance. Being impaired includes alcohol as well as drugs such as marijuana, and other narcotics. A person can also be impaired by something as innocuous as allergy medication. The warning on         antihistamine packaging is serious when it says “Don’t’ drive or operate machinery after taking this medication.”
If you are being followed by the police with the red and blue lights flashing, pull over and take it like an adult. You may be saving your own life and perhaps the lives of other innocent drivers. Nothing is so    important that you must risk your life.
Remember, it’s up to all of us to make the 148 a safer highway to drive on. Together, we can put the Grim Reaper out of business on the “Highway of Death.”
David McColl
GATINEAU