A Deadly Combination
Aggressive driving anywhere is a highly dangerous activity, and when you mix aggressive driving with a busy two-lane highway, the combination can be deadly.
My assertion is that Route 113 – as it exists today – contributes to aggressive driving behavior. The roadway contains many curves, has few passing zones, and accommodates a variety of vehicles – including farm equipment – which travel at varying rates of speed. As driver frustration increases, the dangers on Route 113 accelerate, particularly for those unfamiliar with this roadway.
Inherent in the infrastructure of Route 113 is the problem of continuity. This means that the capacity of the roadway changes, rather than staying the same. As locals know, Route 113 changes from a four-lane divided-highway, to a curvy two-lane highway, and back again. This continuity problem can cause confusion as to whether or not a motorist may be encountering oncoming traffic – from cars that are passing, for example.
Locals travel on Route 113 with an awareness of its dangers. Many of us have had to use defensive maneuvers – such as moving to the shoulder – to prevent a head-on collision with a car that is occupying our lane while passing.
On Nov. 2, unsafe passing on Route 113 – a road where there is no room for error – altered the lives of 10 people. Four of those people lost their lives. Five others suffered very serious injuries and are fortunate to be alive, and thankfully, another driver was not seriously injured. We all know that the aggressive driver should not have passed when he did. That action started an extremely horrific chain of events that changed lives in literally seconds.
Unfortunately, the combination of aggressive driving on this curvy two-lane highway happens almost every day. It is amazing that we do not have more deadly accidents. My cousin Lee Figgs was also a casualty of Route 113. Sixteen years ago, he was hit head-on by a truck that was passing. He could not avoid the collision. His death affected many people and became the catalyst for changing the minds of transportation officials and elected representatives, who agreed that enough carnage had taken place on Route 113 over the years. They agreed that the situation had to be improved. At that time, it was determined that Route 113 had a fatality rate three-times the statewide average.
Many people answered the call and a substantial portion of Route 113 has been dualized since, and a portion is also under construction. Lives have been saved already by dividing the highway and allowing people to pass without meeting oncoming traffic. But, the task is not complete. The mission is not yet accomplished. I believe that the commitment to finish the dualization exists, but is the project moving fast enough?
Based on the circumstances as reported on the Nov. 2 accident, I believe that if the highway had been fully divided and this driver could have safely passed, life might have been different today for those 10 people.
We have to find a way to finish the job now. Please let your voice be heard to your elected officials and to our State Highway Administration.
(The writer is a member of the County Residents Action for Safer Highway (CRASH).)
Kindness Appreciated Editor:
We want to express our thanks and appreciation for the concern and out-pouring of love for us during this sad time due to the death of our 16-year-old granddaughter, Amy Stevens.
Amy was killed in a horrible auto accident on Oct. 28 in the Wilmington, Del. area. Amy was a remarkable student, soccer player, role model, volunteer and was loved by all who knew her. She is greatly missed.
Ann and John McDermott Ocean City
Prayer Breakfast Near
The speaker at this year’s 21st Ocean City Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will be Steve Young from Campus Crusade for Christ International, who will have another great story to tell.
His story begins in 1976 when Steve got married and moved with his wife to Jos, Nigeria (West Africa) where they spent seven years. Steve who had an engineering degree was in charge of the water system for the city of Jos.
While there, he developed a gift for teaching at the University of Jos and helped to develop programs of evangelism to local churches.
Since then, Steve through Campus Crusade has been to over 45 countries throughout the world, bringing God’s message to the business and professional community. During these 34 years, Steve has some exciting stories to share about the work of Campus Crusade. For example, one only has to look at the recent 33 miners rescued in Chile. All miners when rescued were wearing “T” shirts supplied by Campus Crusade. On the front of the shirt in Spanish are the words “Thank You Lord” and on the back of the shirt Psalm 95:4.
Come hear how God’s Spirit is moving in the hearts and minds of people throughout the world and the part that Campus Crusade for Christ is playing in this.
This year’s buffet breakfast will be Friday, Dec. 10 at the Clarion Resort Hotel, from 7-9 a.m. We begin and end on time. The tickets are $15 in advance if purchased before Dec. 7. There will be no tickets sold at the door. Tables of 8-10 people can be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Tickets may be purchased through the mail by sending a check to 204 Graham Ave., Berlin, Md. 21811 or may be purchased at the following ticket locations: City Hall 3rd Street and Baltimore Ave in Ocean City; Long and Foster Realty 120th Street and Coastal Hwy. Ocean City; Cropper Oil Company, Route 50, Berlin Md.; and Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, Route 50, Ocean City
(The writer is the event’s director.)
I want to send a special thank you to Tony in Oyster Harbor. Someone else may not have been so kind to go out of their way to return my wallet.
Tony found my wallet lying in the road, found my phone number and not only called me but looked up directions to my house and brought it right to my door. West Ocean City residents should feel lucky to have such a wonderful man living near them and hope if they ever accidentally leave something where they shouldn’t, that Tony is the one to find it. Lisa Udzielak Ocean City
Thanks For Help In Bid
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who supported me in my recent reelection campaign for Worcester County Commissioner in District 6. I am deeply grateful for the faith you placed in me to help shape the future of our county. Thank you for your friendship, support and guidance during these last weeks, as we journeyed the campaign trail together. To the residents of Worcester County, I say thank you for entrusting me with the privilege of serving you during the last term.
I am anxiously preparing to continue serving our community in new ways and employing the knowledge and skills I have acquired during my time in office. I would like to urge each of you to consider doing likewise. Worcester County is made strong by those who invest their God-given gifts and talents to serve the needs of people, protect the natural resources and in so doing help to secure a brighter tomorrow for our community. I promise that you will be glad you made the investment.
Commissioner Linda C. Busick
You Can Count On Me
In a pervasive sea of negativity at all levels during the recent election campaigns, it is very satisfying to know that an election can still be won when a candidate focuses on the positive, emphasizes an eight-year record of service to the community, and promises to continue that full-time level of commitment with honesty and integrity.
The residents of the Ocean Pines District ignored the negativity and attempted character assassination they were bombarded with during the election. Instead, they demonstrated their belief in me and voted decisively to re-elect me. I am truly honored and appreciative of their confidence in me.
In the eight years I have represented the people of Ocean Pines, I’ve worked hard to assure them that they could always count on me; and in this election, they let me know that I can count on them. Thank you so much for your faith in me. I won’t let you down.
Commissioner Judy Boggs