"Let them work safely"
We'd like to think that drivers would use caution while passing construction to widen I-26 because they don't want to hurt workers. But lacking that, we'd hope they would slow down because there is a good chance speeding will just cost them more time. It may cost offending motorists money, too.
The Post and Courier's Bo Petersen reported last week that some of those working with U.S. Group on the project say that local drivers have demonstrated some of the worst behavior they have ever experienced. Workers have been hit by objects thrown from cars and unnerved by vehicles that weave in and out of traffic, flying by only a few feet away.
Some drivers will get away with it, but plenty will not. In the first three weeks of work, 400 tickets were written. In October, 212 more were written. If you think driving around construction is time-consuming, see how long it takes you to get a ticket and then appear in court. You'll pay later, too, when your insurance premium jumps.
Road construction can be an inconvenience. It can bring out road rage. But imagine how much worse you'd feel if you struck a worker while driving irresponsibly.
The construction is being done to ease traffic headaches for us motorists. It is being done at night to inconvenience us less.
So take a deep breath. Back off the bumper of the person in front of you. Give workers some space. Change lanes carefully, and resign yourself to the fact that there is a line of traffic and you're in it.
Please, don't turn an inconvenience into a tragedy.
- Charleston Post and Courier editorial, 11/10/2008