Letters to the Editor

Defensive driving

January 5, 2010


To the editor:

As I was carefully driving through the intersections at Sixth and Kentucky, Sixth and Vermont and Sixth and Massachusetts around 9 a.m. Sunday, it was still snowing and the streets were not clear yet. At first, I was glad to see a sand truck coming in the opposite direction.

My appreciation for the sand truck rapidly turned into anger: I had to slam on my brakes in “iffy” driving conditions (“iffy” is putting it nicely!) to avoid being run over by the sand truck. Imagine my shock when I looked up to see that the truck’s driver was talking on a cell phone! Even worse, I don’t think he even realized that he had run a red light, or nearly caused an accident.

This truck was not a city truck, as far as I could tell, but it was about the same size. If it was a private contractor, who are they accountable to? I will admit that I have a cell phone, but I turn it off or to silent, when I need to drive in poor conditions. I definitely don’t take a hand off the wheel. Maybe, Mr. Sand Truck Driver, you should think twice about doing the same!

Right now, I am really grateful that my driver’s ed classes back in high school, and my parents, taught me how to be a defensive driver. Thanks, Mom and Dad, and my LHS driver's ed teachers back in 1990.


Ron Holzwarth 8 years, 3 months ago

Payment for the accident would certainly not be from the City of Lawrence's insurance policy, because the City does not have one.

The city's insurance company cancelled Lawrence in 1986, and blackballed Lawrence from ever getting insurance again, due to a $1,000,000 payout. Because there had been no excuse, other than drunkeness and speeding, for a city garbage truck crossing into oncoming traffic and killing Donna Wortman, leaving two young children behind, in a head on collision in 1985. The city was deemed 100% at fault.

You would have to sue the city or the truck operator, and Lawrence city taxes might have to be raised to cover any damages, because since 1986, the city has had to self insure.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

With the exception of law enforcement and emergency crews I believe city employees are NOT to be using cell phones while driving city owned vehicles. Smart policy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

I got rammed by a city truck in a city parking lot a couple of years ago. There was an "investigation" by 3 city cops and several other city employees, but despite clear evidence that the driver of the city truck was at fault and just plain wasn't watching where he was going, the city self-insurance czar chose to believe the city parking attendant who lied about what she saw (she was having a very friendly discussion with the driver shortly before the accident.)

lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

Doesn't this say that it was NOT a city truck? What does the city self-insurance policy have to do with a private contractor?

GmaD321 8 years, 3 months ago

Curious about the accident in 1985. Where can I find out specifics?

grimpeur 8 years, 3 months ago

Cell-phone using drivers need to have their cars parked.

On their heads.

Matthew Herbert 8 years, 3 months ago

Not saying this is for sure who it was....BUT...the city did hire out RD Johnson to handle much of their snow removal when they couldn't keep up.

Joe Hyde 8 years, 3 months ago

Not saying this is for sure why it happened, either...BUT...our snow removal crew drivers have been on the job pretty much around the clock for quite a few days now. Tends to make a person a little spacy. Mama Nasty is not cutting them much slack.

misticj 8 years, 3 months ago

Margretta I agree you have right to be defensive but don't forget accidents aren't always the fault of the driver. once when I was hanging out on my friends front porch and suddenly a couple smashed right into each other, one from the left and one from ahead and you know what that entire accident happened because some idiot of a city official decided to put the stop sign behind a tree.

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