Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Memorial Drive

I wasn’t aware (or had forgotten) that the original version of this legislation had even passed.
State lawmakers are thinking of revising a new law that lets families ask for a roadside marker to memorialize the loss of a loved one who died because of a drunken driver.
Under the law, which took effect this year, surviving relatives of a crash victim may fill out an application asking the Illinois Department of Transportation to erect a roadside marker in memory of the deceased.

The fatal accident must have occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2003. But House Bill 4736 would change the law so a relative could seek a roadside marker for any crash that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 1990.
I have no problem with memorial markers but why are they limiting them to just those killed by drunk drivers? Sure, it makes a statement about the dangers of drunk driving, but drunk driving isn’t even close to being the only danger on the road that kills people. Sometimes when I see the improvised markers, it makes me look around to see if this is a particularly dangerous patch of road. They make me more aware of how dangerous driving can be and that my best defense is being aware of the conditions around me.

In fact, other than not drinking yourself, there’s little you can do about drunk drivers while you are driving. You can, however, be more cautious and attentive in driving even while sober. This alone would probably save more lives than getting all the drunks off the road. I say allow the memorial markers be erected for everyone, even if it’s only a reminder to be careful out there.

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