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Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.
– John Locke  
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  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 8 August 2019  

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Michelle Barrette

  By Michelle Barrette

   Our latest article on problem intersections in Falcon is about the Meridian and Woodmen roads intersection. One reader wrote in questioning why the speed limit signs had not been replaced. According to this month’s article, speed wasn’t the main cause of the accidents — reckless driving came in at No. 1.
   With school starting, being alert at the wheel is vital. I still see people texting while driving, putting on makeup or eating — anytime you take your eyes off the road is a threat to you and other drivers.
   Hostile drivers are another threat. Road rage is on the rise. I still cannot fathom the road rage incident that took place in Westminster, Colorado, on June 14. To recap, a 23-year-old — only 23 and probably in prison forever — followed a woman and her three children several blocks to a parking lot at a dentist’s office. Jeremy Webster parked behind Meghan Bigalow’s car and a verbal argument ensued. Jeremy Webster took out his gun and shot Meghan, two of her three children and a bystander. Her 13-year-old son was killed, and Meghan and her 7-year-old son were severely injured. A third son managed to escape the killing spree.
   On June 10, in Colorado Springs, three people were stabbed in a road rage incident. Two brothers were driving north on Academy from Highway 85. Another driver taunted the brothers by following very close behind them and braking suddenly off and on. When the brothers pulled into a parking lot, the enraged driver pulled in and purposefully hit their car. The brothers called their stepfather for help; when he arrived and approached the other car, the angry driver attacked the stepfather and the two brothers with a knife. Luckily, they all survived.
   According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published in July, close to 80 percent of drivers expressed anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year. AAA stated in an article that about eight million U.S. drivers engaged in extreme examples of road rage, which included ramming a vehicle or getting out of the car to confront the other driver.
   “It’s completely normal for drivers to experience anger behind the wheel, but we must not let our emotions lead to destructive choices,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research. Road rage can start small and get big real fast.
   Also, bicycle safety is extremely important for kids, adults and drivers. Watch out for bicycles, and be sure to read Robin Widmar’s tips on the Falcon Fire Protection District news page on safety tips for bicyclists.
   See "Did you know?" for more information on the AAA study.
   Growth continues in Falcon, Black Forest and the entire eastern plains. More people means more kids traveling back and forth to school. Please be cautious drivers — don’t take your eyes off the road ever. In a split second, your life can change — drastically.
   On a more positive note, good luck to students and also parents this coming school year.
   See you in September,
   - Michelle
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