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Desert Companion

Oblivious Much?

There are near-collisions nearly every day.

In the school zone in front of Coronado High School, near where I live, I see students risk death daily. They stride confidently into traffic, faces often buried in smartphones, with nary a glance at passing cars, confident the law of the school zone will triumph over the laws of physics. Parents pass down the bad behaviors, double-parking, stopping in traffic, clogging no-parking zones and even driveways for the sake of convenience while  picking up or dropping off their kids.

It’s daily chaos, a tempting of fate. And the numbers show it’s only a matter of time.

According to the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety, 74 pedestrians died on Clark County roads through the middle of December. Although the total number of traffic deaths (275) is down somewhat, pedestrian deaths are on the rise, a stubborn reminder that the state’s “zero fatality” program remains an elusive-but-worthwhile goal.

And some of those deaths are completely unnecessary. A little caution, a bit of healthy fear, maybe just looking both ways before stepping into traffic could save some lives. Instead of expecting cars to slow down or stop, expect their drivers to be as oblivious as some of those Coronado students. It’s a more cynical view, but also a safer one. It’s going to take everyone to reach zero fatalities — a worthy resolution for this new year.

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