Driving is a privilege, not a right.

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Few things scare me more than driving. The freedom and mobility automobiles provide is awesome, but tremendous responsibilities apply.

An automobile can take me many places, when I want to go. I can stop when I wish, I can choose my route. But when I'm driving, I'm in control of more than a ton of machine (and I drive a compact car), traveling at speeds once unattainable by humans. Do you have any idea how much momentum a car can have? I have the responsibility to operate my car in a safe manner, taking extra care to protect those around me. That responsibility also extends to my passengers, and to myself.

I'm writing this page because last week, three people died here. A father picked up his daughter and her best friend (11 and 13 years old). As he drove, he crossed the center line and collided head-on with a city bus. The autopsy revealed that his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

How could someone do that? How could a father even think about driving his own daughter and her best friend while he was drunk? How could a father do that? I'm dumbfounded.

People here really scare me. It's not just the people who have had too many drinks. It's everyone around here who drives while not capable of devoting full attention to driving. I know, we all have places to go. We have to work, we have to pick up the kids, go to the grocery store, whatever. I know that many times, the only opportunity we have to do things like eat, or make important phone calls, is while we're driving. But we've conditioned ourselves to think that's ok. We tell ourselves that we're careful, that we're paying enough attention. What if we're not? Whom are we endangering without knowing it? Someone else's child? Our own? When we get behind the wheel, we take responsibility for many lives. How can we possibly take that so lightly?

Next time you get in your car, please, please think about that... whose lives could I be endangering? What can I do to ensure that I don't hurt someone else? Am I fit to drive right now? Am I distracted, am I angry, or too tired to drive safely? Are my reflexes slow right now?

If you're not up to it, don't drive! Nothing is important enough to risk killing someone by driving.