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May 22, 2006 - Common Sense Can Save Lives

As we approach the Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of the summer driving season, a time of year when city folks drive into the country to go on vacation, to visit relatives on farms or to just enjoy the beauty of nature, there are two certain events.

Number one, gasoline prices will go even higher as we enter the summer driving season.

Number two, you will get your annual Samuelson Safety Sermon on driving on country roads.

Before I get to that subject, though, there is another one dealing with common sense and safety. A few weeks ago, a weekly rural newspaper that reaches my desk on page two had this headline that caught my eye and made me angry. The headline read “Three Children Injured in ATV Accident”. The story went on to say that three area children who were seriously injured in an all-terrain-vehicle accident are on the mend after being air lifted to the nearest hospital. The children, and this is what got to me, the children, two of them six years old and the other nine years old. Parents, for heaven’s sake, what are you thinking?

That all-terrain-vehicle is not a toy, it is a working machine. Not a toy to be driven by children under 10 years of age. If you have a death wish for your children, then keep on doing that.

And if you have a death wish, get out on that rural road or highway and drive 75 miles an hour around corners and up and down hills and you may get your death wish as well; because on weekends, farmers will be out there moving farm equipment from one field or farm to another. They will be on those roads and they have a legal right to be there. You have a life-saving responsibility of slowing down, particularly on hills or corners because while you are doing 60 miles an hour you could quickly find yourself behind a slow moving vehicle; a tractor, a planter, a tillage machine that is doing 10 to 15 miles an hour.

Slow Down! And to all of my farm friends, if you are on one of those roads or highways and you have an opportunity to pull aside and let the line of cars pass, that might save some lives. Make sure your warning flashing lights are working and make sure you have that slow moving vehicle emblem in plain visibililty. Use some common sense and stay alive.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.