Monday, February 25, 2013

Driving safely prevents needless accidents, injuries

Mayor Bill Jenks, III
 If there is anything in downtown Rolla that needs a second look, you can be sure there are plenty of merchants, business owners and shoppers on Pine Street in downtown Rolla that care a lot about looking twice in both directions, using proper traffic signals and following the traffic lane laws.
I’m particularly concerned about the reoccurring problem of motorists – intentionally or not –making left turns on one-way streets out of the right lane and making right turns out of the left lane on one-way streets.  I am seeing this more and more and just last week there was an accident in front of our office when someone wanted to turn into the Bank of America parking lot was northbound on Pine in the right hand lane, turned left and hit a car also Northbound in the left lane in the passenger door. It is very important to be in whatever lane you are ultimately planning on turning in. Sometimes I wonder how people get their driver’s license, but I am noticing this more and more.
Whenever the traffic is light in the downtown area, there is a temptation and tendency to want to ignore the rules of the road that indicate proper stripping, signage and lane usage. But please don’t ignore these rules, as they exist for your safety and the safety of the motoring public. 
And while we are on the subject of motor vehicle safety, I’d like to also bring up the importance of pedestrian safety; particularly the need to stop at designated crosswalks. Since Rolla is a university town where thousands of students are going to and from classes all day long, it is imperative to stop whenever you see a pedestrian at a crosswalk. Wait for them to safely cross the street, and then proceed in the direction you were headed in. It will only take a few more seconds, but it could mean avoiding an injury, and even worse.
Many drivers are also preoccupied with talking on their cell phones, texting, listening to their I-Pods, and even eating and drinking while driving. It only takes a split second to get distracted, become disoriented, or make the wrong adjustment before you have an unfortunate accident, or worse yet, hit another pedestrian.
In closing I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the Healthy Heart Zumba Party last night, Friday, Feb. 22 at Eugene Northern Community Hall. This is a great fundraiser for the Heart to Heart Committee, which is a branch of the Foundation at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (P.C.R.M.C.), and I’d like to especially thank The Centre staff and P.C.R.M.C. for co-hosting this heart healthy event. Thanks to everyone who participated in this event, the Heart to Heart Committee has been able to gift countless men and women in our community screenings that they would otherwise not be able to afford.
The Centre will host yet another community-wide event next Saturday on March 2 during the Youth Chess Tournament at The Centre (1200 N. Holloway St.). Players of all levels are invited to participate in this fun day of chess. Players should bring their own chess set if they have one. If not, the Parks and Recreation Dept. will provide one. Staunton chess sets only please.
The entry fee is $5 for Centre members and $10 for non-members. There will be three age divisions: 1st-4th Grades; 5th-7th Grade and 8th Grade & up. The top three place winners in each of three age groups will receive awards. Pre-registration is encouraged, but on-site registration will be available from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. the day of the tournament. The tournament will start promptly at 9 a.m. For more information, or to register over the phone, please call the Rolla Parks and Recreation Department/The Centre at 573-341-2386.
Have a nice weekend and a safe week!

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