Call for traffic safety not heeded
To the editor:
During the past several days many letters to the editor have been about traffic safety within Northampton. Many good ideas have been submitted. I wish to add to this collection.
Over the past years, I have complained to our city officials regarding the lack of traffic safety and enforcement. Most have gone unanswered. Safety is totally reactive in this city. This is ineffective, and as such more accidents and injuries will occur in areas that are known to be dangerous by the public who use crosswalks, see the speeding and have close calls everyday. I am sure our police and public works personnel drive everyday and see unsafe occurrences and areas — but do they ever input these areas and problems into a database for analysis (before an accident occurs)?
As an aviation safety expert and instructor of Aviation Safety Management Systems, we in aviation have extensive and often anonymous reporting programs of hazardous processes and procedures. The system is proactive, and could be implemented if our city officials want it. I once suggested to our former mayor, our current police chief, and this paper that a weekly safety column be written to keep the general public informed of rules and good safety practices that apply to pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. This idea fell on totally deaf ears.
Unfortunately, we will continue to see accidents and incidents occur between drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists because these problems will continue due to the city’s current reactive philosophy. Too bad. Watch out, out there, as our city streets and crosswalks are dangerous due to ineffective enforcement, bad designs and people not obeying the rules, either because they don’t want to or they don’t know the rules.