Editor, The Messenger,

Want to hear a good joke? “Distracted Driver Safety Corridor.” That’s it. The new signage posted along U.S. 33 for seventeen miles is a distraction from the problem itself: Lack of enforcement and motor-vehicle centered policy.

My partner and I were on bicycles, stopped on the right side of the right lane of traffic on Pleasanton Rd. at U.S. 33 on June 28, 2020. A driver, also stopped at the time on U.S. 33, turned left onto Pleasanton Rd. FULLY LEFT of the double-yellow lines and ran us over, breaking my partner’s neck and damaging us and our property in many other ways. The driver was assessed only a common traffic citation for driving “left of center” ($150, 2 points, driving privileges retained same day). It’s “pretty okay” to drive the wrong way down the road and break people’s necks. According to law enforcement, it’s definitely NOT reckless in any way.

The driver’s head was down at the time. Thus, of course the driver didn’t see us, nor would they see the newly erected “safety corridor” signage. However, OHSP reported the driver was not distracted. So, did they do it on purpose? Incompetence? Equipment malfunction? None of the above. Apparently, there is no answer. It was just… an accident. Drive on.

We have GPS data indicating we were run over at 28 mph. OHSP reported it was 10 mph (Note:10 mph was the driver’s best guess as to how fast they were driving). Although my partner’s neck was broken in multiple places, OHSP reported only “minor injury suspected.” Check out the erroneously, sloppy crash report (05-0435-05) completed by officer with badge #1400.

To this day, there has been no justice, no settlement, no public safety. There is, instead, tolerance for driving unsafely (even down the wrong lane of traffic). In fact, we learned that it is quite okay to run people over with an automobile. Want to get away with murder? Do it in a car.

Since the “Zero Tolerance” & “Safety Corridor: Strict Enforcement” blah blah blah signs have been erected, we rarely experience any law enforcement presence while driving this corridor. However, we are consistently passed by automobiles driving speeds 5, 10, 15 mph or more above the speed limit. “Distracted Driving Safety Corridor.” Just call it what it is: BS.

Josh Christen

Athens

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