‘Anything but paying attention to driving’

You’ve seen them … sure you have. Coming towards you while drifting slowly, slowly over the centerline.

Only seconds ago, you were driving along, alert but relaxed, hands “easy” at the 4 and 8 o’clock steering wheel positions (Note: you can’t strangle a steering wheel with a white-knuckle grip), eyes downrange and sweeping left and right while occasionally checking mirrors.

What to do? Maybe ease off the gas, flash your high-beams and tap the horn a couple times, while looking for an “escape.” Suddenly, the distracted and dazed driver jerks the wheel and the car lurches back into the proper lane. Whew!

As the car passes by, you notice the “driver” staring into a hand-held device; reading, texting, or doing a Sudoku puzzle … anything but paying attention to driving. While the “bump and rumble strip” treatment seems to have reduced “driver killed by roadside tree” events, some roads are getting the same nanny-state treatment along the center line. Newer cars up the irritation factor with lane departure lights, bells and whistles. Perhaps an “enhanced enforcement” program for turn signals and lane departures (including when turning) would help.

Announce in advance the targeted (and dangerous) misbehavior, then have our professionally trained drivers (law enforcement) “encourage us” to raise our awareness, while avoiding crashes. Finally, remember to drive right and pass left!

– Ed Trottier, Lady’s Island

Can Bi-partisanship work? Yes!

Recently, Representative Nancy Mace (R, SC-1) once again took a bipartisan step in the best interests of the Lowcountry, the nation and the planet. She became a co-sponsor of the RISEE ACT officially named, Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems.

If the bill passes, it will free up funds currently focused on the Gulf of Mexico and make them available to coastal states for coastal restoration, hurricane protection, and research to protect fisheries and all marine ecosystems. Watching the tides in front of my house and the storm damage on Hunting Island, I’ll be personally happy, as many of you, to have these resources available.

In addition, the bill will make 50% of the funds from offshore wind leases available to neighboring coastal states. As an advocate for addressing climate change, I know development of wind and solar production is critical to our future safety. The RISSEE ACT makes an important contribution toward that end.

The bill will fail without bipartisan support. Unfortunately, bipartisanship is a bruising endeavor in our Congress. Please express your appreciation to Congresswoman Mace and let Senators Graham and Scott know that we want them on board too. Call, email or go to cclusa.org/write.

– Tim Joy, Chapter Leader, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Beaufort

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