Monday, August 13, 2012

Dan Moser's letter to editor re: teen struck by hit-and-run

A student heading to her bus stop is struck by a hit-and-run driver who left the roadway to do so, and the school district’s response is to say there must be more efforts made to educate students about bus stop safety.

It goes without saying that all vulnerable road users should be aware of and practice safe behavior, especially in low-light conditions, but the school district fell right into the “blame the victim” mentality that encourages us to continue driving our weapons (i.e. motor vehicles) with the mindset that “those pesky pedestrians and bicyclists should know to stay out of our way.”

In this case, just as in the killing of Tracey Kleinpell by “sleepy” driver Theresa Shirley on the shoulder of the Sanibel Causeway, that mentality apparently applies even when off the roadway.

There are plenty of educational resources available to the school district and individuals that are free or of minimal expense. These include Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program, which trains teachers and community volunteers to educate pedestrians and bicyclists, Lee Memorial Health System’s Young Driver Program, and the Sheriff’s Office Teen Driver Challenge. Unfortunately, each of these resources is underutilized, both by the general public and school district.

Dan Moser, Fort Myers

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