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Home > News > What steps would be most effective in reducing highway fatalities on the Peninsula?

What steps would be most effective in reducing highway fatalities on the Peninsula?

Driver education
10% (18 votes)
Slower speed limits
7% (14 votes)
Increased law enforcement
29% (54 votes)
Highway improvements
54% (101 votes)
Total votes: 187
Comments (9) Add comment
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LellenAK 08/09/11 - 05:15 pm
I think the intentions of the

I think the intentions of the Dept. of Transportation was to help reduce accidents on the Seward Hwy by installing some ghastly orange reflectors around all corners. Have they done that on the Sterling Hwy too? You can read about this project on the DOT website at, which gives accident statistics and other important info.

I do not think orange posts will stop people from drinking and driving, or from passing unsafely - which I witness every day driving on the Seward Hwy. Those are the problems that need addressing, which is why I voted for increased law enforcement.

ConnieC 08/09/11 - 05:25 pm
I'd like to see the use of

I'd like to see the use of cell phones while driveing be stopped. I am not against cell phones in fact I have one. I do know that it takes only seconds to take your mind off your driveing. I know ppl who txt,check FB and whatever else they are connected with. If that hasn't been the cause in part, of the rash of accidents/fatalitys we have seen it is just a matter of time.

stormy 08/10/11 - 09:45 am
As a licensed driver for over

As a licensed driver for over 40 years, most of them on the Kenai Peninsula, I see so many drivers driving too slow. There are posted speed limits; I realize sometimes, depending on weather, road conditions, etc there is a need to driver slower then the posted speed limit, but all too often, and not just on the Kenai, I see drivers habitualy driving too slow. I think they should be ticketed just as much as speeders

jlmh 08/10/11 - 11:57 am
What good would driver

What good would driver education do? Everyone with a license knows enough to pass the driving test. People don't speed because they don't know any better. They don't pass in unsafe conditions because they don't what the solid yellow line means. They do it because they don't care, and driver education can't make people care.

Slower speed limits doesn't mean lower speeds. People who speed over the 55 mph limit will speed over a 45 mph limit too. And those in a hurry will have more people to pass (thus more opportunity for a collision) if the majority goes from 55 mph to 45 mph.

Increased law enforcement might help catch more reckless drivers before a wreck, and might deter more drivers, but when there are thousands of cars and hundreds of miles, the chances of catching even most of the dangerous drivers in action is pretty slim.

Improving the roads is the only good solution. With more lanes, tourists and campers can mozy along in the right lane without accruing a line of anxious cars behind them. Speeders can weave through traffic going in the same direction, instead of swerving into oncoming traffic to pass. And if we make two lanes continuous, drivers will not feel rushed to pass the whole pack in the small opportunity they have before lanes merge. It's just a matter of whether we have the funds and/or priorities to make such expensive improvements.

BrianW 08/10/11 - 12:19 pm
Excellent observations. Slow

Excellent observations. Slow drivers tend to irritate other people who just want to drive the speed limit or as conditions allow.
The problem is, some people think that the hwy is a place for them to practice nascar or driving Miss Daisy. People may not understand reaction time, friction coefficients, and physics. For example; if you are driving 55 mph, you are traveling 80.85 ft per second (basic math= if it took you exactly 1 hour to travel 1 mile you would be moving 1.47 feet per second. Multiply by actual MPH to get your feet per second). So, statistics show that the average person has a REACTION time of 1-2 seconds. That means you will travel between 80.85 and 161.7 feet before you actually take your foot off of the gas and begin to apply the brakes if you are traveling 55 mph. And that calculation doesn't include how good your brakes are, the friction coefficient between your tires and the road, or if the road is icy or wet. That is in perfect conditions only.
As I stated in another post (1 Killed, 14 Injured) people begin to habitually make poor choices and act in poor behavior because they have not yet experienced a negative result from those choices and actions. When the behavior continues with no negative consequence, people begin to concrete that behavior. That is why I say more law enforcement is necessary. If they were handing out tickets to slow drivers as well as speeders, it would reduce or even eliminate thefrustrated drivers who take unnecessary risks.

Texting? Face Booking? Messing with the iPod?


alaskagunhunter 08/11/11 - 07:01 am
The following are illegal,

The following are illegal, foolish and dangerous and should result in a ticket. Passing on a solid line, using the shoulder as a turn and passing lane. texting while driving. Like we don't already know these things. Making a four lane highway won’t solve bad driving habits. Slow down fools or perhaps the next body rubber necks try to get a look at will be yours.

Teaf 08/11/11 - 07:36 am
A large part of our problem

A large part of our problem on the highways is the slow drivers who have no problem holding up large lines of traffic. It is amazing how many slow drivers, when given the opportunity to let folks around, will not. Instead as soon as they hit a four lane or passing area they speed up and race everyone to the other end, then just slow right back up. Not trying to excuse the drivers who get crazy with it, but it is understandable why folks get irritated and just want to get around those who seem to enjoy impeding the flow of traffic. If the Troopers were to start ticketing the ones impeding the traffic, we just might see a lot friendlier roads. Last time we drive to Anchorage it seems the flow was averaging around 60 MPH and everyone was behaving, we saw very little passing and none of the craziness. Folks just get tired of being cornered by drivers that can't seem to do more than 45 MPH (unless their in a passing area of course).

muselix 08/11/11 - 10:42 am
I voted increased law

I voted increased law enforcement, but I don't mean more police cars on the road. While that might help, I don't think anyone is really threatened by getting pulled over. So you get a speeding ticket and have to pay a fine. A one-time fee of a couple hundred bucks isn't going to do much but irritate the driver when they cut the check.

So why not stiffen the penalties? You get caught speeding, you get an immediate trip to the lockup for the night. Toss 'em in the drunk tank and let them out 24 hours later. Oh, and make sure their car gets impounded and there's a hefty fee to get it out. Add that to the standard fine for speeding, and maybe people will pay attention to those cool signs with numbers on them on the side of the road.

Oh, and outlaw using phones for anything more than a phone on the road. Texting, checking your email, and updating your status on Facebook are way more distracting than just talking on the phone.

drudge 08/15/11 - 04:49 pm
I am disappointed with how

I am disappointed with how the results of this poll turned out.

The majority voted for Highway Improvements, yet I can't recall a single accident this summer that can be attributed directly to the condition of the highways. Our roads are NOT dangerous to drive on. I don't see how the road itself can be 'improved' upon short of building single-lane trenches with padded walls.

Next up in the votes is Increased Law Enforcement, which seems like a good idea on a napkin, but starts making less sense once it's on paper: People will only slow down when they can see the LEO. As soon as they're out of sight, they go right back to their poor driving habits. I've witnessed this countless times on my commute to and from work.

The minority voted for Slower Speed Limits, but this doesn't address the real problem: People who simply ignore speed limits. A leadfoot will do the same thing regardless of the posted speed limit: Pass everybody and then go as fast as he pleases.

I'm surprised that more people didn't vote for Driver Education, because this is really where the solution lies. Educating people on the consequences of their actions on the road is important. That guy (we've all seen that guy) who changes lanes 5 times without using his turn signals, trying to speed ahead of everybody before his lane merges probably doesn't realize (or does, but doesn't care -- even worse!) that every person he passes has to react to his recklessness. Each one of those other drivers is temporarily distracted, which has the potential of creating an accident situation. Having drivers be aware of their interactions with other drivers on the road is a sure step towards road safety.

Disappointment aside, the results of this poll do align with the general disposition of our society: Personal responsibility is completely disregarded, and replaced with handholding and litigation. We're quickly becoming a Nanny-state, and it needs to stop.

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