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More safety efforts, observant public reduce risk of tragedies

Whether with motor vehicles, trains or other forms of surfacetransportation, tragic consequences are an ever-present possibility- particularly around intersections – when high speeds areinvolved.

Several recent events serve as reminders of that unfortunatefact, as well as the need for improved safety measures wherepossible and the need for motorists to be observant while they arebehind the wheel.

Three people were killed in McComb last week when an Amtraktrain struck a car at a crossing that has been the site of severalother accidents in recent times. The crossing is unprotected andauthorities said it is doubtful the car stopped as it approachedthe intersection.

The Pike County incident recalled a similar tragedy thathappened a few weeks earlier here when a Brookhaven woman waskilled when she went around guards at the Monticello Streetcrossing and her vehicle was hit by the Amtrak train.

But train crossings are not the only places where tragedies canoccur.

After numerous accidents over the years, and a locallyoriginated petition that collected approximately 8,000 signatures,Mississippi Department of Transportation officials last weektripled the number of stop signs at the dangerous Laird’s Crossingin western Lincoln County. MDOT officials are also continuing plansfor grade improvements in hopes of improving visibility in thearea.

Regardless of the type of intersection, a common factor in manyfatal accidents is speed.

Smaller, slower-moving vehicles always lose when struck bybigger, faster-moving ones. That’s not any assessment on fault;it’s just physics.

If transportation powers that be undertake or continue effortsto improve safety around intersections and if motorists areobservant when they approach them, the chances for tragedies aregreatly reduced. That is a destination all parts of the travelingpublic should strive to reach.