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Published: Sunday, 3/18/2012

Letters to the Editor

Wrong-way crash solutions not easy

After many tragedies, the reaction is to blame something or someone to explain why these things happen. But there never will be any true solution to preventing these tragedies ("Solutions for highway safety pursued; ODOT seeks wrong-way crash answers; 3rd such incident in 11 days leaves 2 men dead on I-75," March 13).

The Ohio Department of Transportation can take additional steps to aid and educate drivers, but ultimately, it is a driver's responsibility to be aware and avoid distractions, especially in unfamiliar areas.

Our roads are well marked, and wrong-way signs are posted where they are appropriate.

ODOT would create a safety issue if it installed directional spike strips on highway ramps. If a vehicle impacts these spikes and crashes into a concrete barrier or post and a fatality results, the public will blame the state for installing the spike strips.

Spike strips also would hinder emergency vehicles from getting to crash scenes without rendering the vehicles useless.

ODOT can plaster signs, illuminate ramps, and repaint all the lines, but nothing short of placing a state trooper at every interstate off-ramp will remove all of the factors that contribute to wrong-way crashes.

Chris Rutledge

Mapleway Drive

Bumps, beams possible solutions

There are two solutions to the problem of driving the wrong way on interstate highways.

Asphalt bumps on exit ramps could be angled like a wedge to get the attention of a driver heading the wrong way, without deflating their tires.

Or a vehicle going the wrong way on a ramp could trip an electronic beam that would trigger a loud bell, an audible device, or a flashing light to alert the driver.

If that's not adequate, a crossing bar similar to the ones at railroad crossings could drop down farther along the ramp to warn the driver. This would be more costly, but worth it in the long term.

Ned Speiser

Defiance

Keep to the right to avoid collision

I nearly had a head-on collision years ago. What may have saved my life was that the car I was in was in the right-hand lane. An oncoming vehicle going the wrong way is more likely to be in the left-hand, or passing, lane.

Many people these days drive in the left lane even when they are not passing anyone. Motorists should drive defensively and stay in the right lane except to pass.

Tony Everhardt

Lake Township

Stop sign, lights a simple solution

A large stop sign on both sides of a wrong-way entrance with red flashing lights would help. "Stop," a simple word. This could be a simple solution.

Carole Crosby

Temperance

Signs at eye level would warn driver

I have never been drunk, but I have been told that inebriated drivers tend to have tunnel vision. So, a quick fix might be to have warning signs at the driver's eye level. A little lower might be even better, in case drivers are focused on the painted lines.

Dick Zeiter

Calyx Lane

Modern technology could light the way

Perhaps it's time to adopt modern technology to alert wrong-way drivers. Solar-powered, blinking red light-emitting diode lights should be placed around the edges of the on- and off-ramps.

Perhaps a wording change to "Stop -- Do Not Enter" with red blinking lights would help.

There are some stop signs in the area that have the blinking red LED lights around their edges. These signs are bright both day and night.

It's time to think outside the box to save lives.

Merritt Higbie

Perrysburg Township

Crash article lacked compassion

Ronnell Richards and Khary Phenix, both of Monroe, lost their lives in a wrong-way crash on I-475 on March 12. Why was it important to write about their criminal history and driving offenses? I don't recall that being done when other lives were lost because of wrong-way accidents.

You treat other people involved in similar tragedies with respect and compassion. That makes it appear that the lives of Mr. Richards and Mr. Phenix weren't valuable. Where's your compassion?

Earlean Belcher

Monclova Township

First responders could use prayers

As I viewed the pictures on television and read the newspaper accounts of the wrong-way accidents, I thought too of the first responders -- emergency medical personnel, police officers, and firefighters.

I cannot fathom the emotional toll inflicted upon them as they saw the accident scenes. The sights and thoughts likely continue in their minds for months and years.

We owe these folks a debt of gratitude, and prayers for their well-being.

Richard Baker

Sylvania Township

'Caitlyn' article heartwarming

What a beautiful and heartwarming article by outdoors editor Matt Markey ("Caitlyn, our partner on walks in the woods," March 9). Caitlyn made a difference. Clearly she is cherished and remembered.

Barb Brady

Fullington Road

Water bill would soak Ohioans

Once again, Ohio Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R., Napoleon) has introduced legislation to increase water withdrawals amounting to millions of gallons taken daily from Lake Erie and its tributaries without requiring a permit ("Withdrawal limits for Ohio lakes proposed," March 8).

The bill would benefit Mr. Wachtmann's water-bottling company, which draws water out of the Lake Erie watershed. This is a conflict of interest because Mr. Wachtmann will stand to financially benefit from his own legislation. Most of all, it is counterproductive to Ohioans.

With water demand rising worldwide, if we do nothing to protect our greatest resource, we surely will ruin it. Let's not allow the select few to benefit at the public's expense.

Carol Pankratz

Perrysburg



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