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Letters to the Editors

Strategy for sharing road: Take it slow

© St. Petersburg Times
published November 24, 2002

Editor: Re: Bicyclists, motorcyclists put us all at risk, Nov. 17 letter to the editor from Bobby Day, and his complaints and concerns about the bicyclists and motorcycle enthusiasts who share our Spring Lake area roadways.

Mr. Day, you are quick to complain, but you offer no solutions. From what you have written, you are in fact, more of a danger to us than the bicycles and motorcycles you so fear. You live in this area and travel these roads daily. You know the roads are hilly with blind curves. You see the bicyclists and motorcyclists each weekend. Yet, you admit you and your wife exceed the speed limit regularly.

You give examples where you each were speeding when confronted with a dangerous situation. You even went off the road, endangering yourself and others, because you were obviously going too fast to stop safely. The solution is simple: Slow down! You are aware of the hazards. Instead of going 5 mph-plus over the speed limit, use some common sense and try going 5 mph slower than the posted speed.

Our friends and neighbors have every right to share our roadways. Do your part to keep it safer for all of us.

A couple other common sense ideas: May I suggest a bicycle lane? Or an occasional police officer, with radar, to deter speeders?
-- Shelley Wiley, Spring Lake

Drivers should pay attention, look twice

Editor: Re: Bicyclists, motorcyclists put us all at risk, Nov. 17 letter to the editor:
-- I have to respond to Bobby Day about motorcyclists and bicyclists putting people at risk. Lumping both groups together is wrong.
We pay all the costs automobile drivers pay and are licensed by the state, and have the same rights as cars. I belong to ABATE (Freedom Chapter in Hernando), a motorcyclists' rights group, and we are always fighting to make the public aware of the dangers we face when riding.
Many times we travel in groups for numerous charity events, as well as just for fun in getting together. I am sorry Mr. Day's wife was startled by a group passing her, but she should be checking her rear-view mirror so she is aware of what is going on around her. I am startled by trucks many times, but they have a right to be on the road.
Also, the claim that motorcyclists are traveling more than 100 mph is ludicrous. I have ridden with many groups and have never seen anyone approach this speed. Motorcycles are sleek and, many times, look and sound like they are going much faster than they are. When passing an automobile we try to get around and back in our lane as quickly as possible. You don't want to be out there any longer than necessary, with other drivers eating, talking on the phone and who knows what else.
The motorcyclist who lost his leg was passing in a no-passing zone (according to the newspaper), as were the cars that cut off Mr. Day. His contention that he ran off the road makes me believe he was traveling at a higher rate of speed than the limit.
All motorcyclists have lost friends and loved ones in motorcycle accidents, and in almost every case it was an automobile driver's fault by not paying attention. Getting cut off or having an inattentive driver pull out in front of you is a daily occurence for most riders. Please look twice and save a life.
Pat Herbert, Spring Hill

Working to gauge employee matters

Editor: I couldn't believe my eyes the other day as I passed a Hernando County patch truck and crew. Lo and behold, Commissioner Diane Rowden was working with the crews, wearing one of their orange work shirts.

Maybe if the other commissioners spent some quality time with the rank-and-file employees, they, too, could better gauge employee matters, both good and bad.

Hats off to the county employees who are uniting to get their issues addressed. Fifty to 60 percent-plus in a union vote is considerably more than a "handful of disgruntled employees," as Human Resources director Barbara Dupre described in the Nov. 19 Times. Commissioner Rowden is right; "union" is not a four-letter word," and never has been.
-- T. Murray, Spring Hill

Share your views

The Hernando Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

All letters must be signed and must contain the writer's address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be printed.

Send your letter to Hernando Times, 161 E Jefferson St., Brooksville, FL 34601. To fax a letter call 754-6133 or to e-mail (in text-only format)


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