By now, many of you have seen the news reports that a drunk driver at Sunday's Tour de Farms in Shoreham crossed the center line and struck three bicyclists, sending two of them to the hospital. Our thoughts are with the innocent, injured individuals as they and their loved ones deal with the pain, harm and anguish caused by one person's destructive behavior.
The incidence of impaired driving has reached epidemic levels. All bicyclists, pedestrians, and other roadway users are at risk. (Distracted driving, of course, continues to be a severe problem, too.) Clearly, the status quo isn't working to curb this behavior. How long will the citizens of Vermont accept the endless news reports of DUI violations? What is needed? Impoundment of cars? More effective treatment programs for offenders? Stiffer fines? Mandatory, lengthy jail terms? A less casual societal attitude toward drug use and abuse? Some or all of the above?
The chronic problem of impaired drivers (many of them repeat offenders) demands statewide conversations and commitment that will result in a significant change in driver behavior. The VBPC board of directors and I will be discussing what we, as a bike/ped advocacy group, can do to end this carnage on our roadways. We appreciate your support and we invite your suggestions as we move forward.
Executive Director, Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition