Letters to the Editor

No end to the highway slaughter

About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Between 1994 and 2006 the total number of deaths of men, women and children never dipped below 40,768 per year. Despite advanced medical treatment, many of the 3 million who are injured each year are totally debilitated, and the cost to the economy is in the hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

There are many elements that involve traffic safety. All of these elements involve the roadway, the vehicle and the driver and are controllable. The efforts to improve traffic safety have been negligible and obviously ineffective. For example, the major cause of traffic fatalities is excessive speed and the National Transportation Safety Board ranks a vehicle with a five-star safety rating when the vehicle passes a 35 mph impact test crash. This is not a realistic solution to a devastating problem that has gone on long enough.

I don't have all the answers to stop this slaughter of innocent men, women and children, but the federal government is impotent in this matter. Perhaps an organization patterned after "America's Most Wanted," where families who have lost love ones get involved, would be a start.

SCHUYLER BURNS

Oakdale

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