"Safety On Land"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017

As a boating safety advocate, I often write about safety on the water, but safety on land is equally important.

A few things I’ve noted are mentioned herein.

Some people let their dogs and cats run loose. The animals may chase a car or bike and could cause an accident.

If a child is riding a bike on the sidewalk or bike path and a dog begins to bark and snap at their feet chasing them, they could swerve and land on the road. They could also be thrown from their bike and injured.

A loose dog may encounter a dog being walked on a leash and the dogs may begin to fight. This can be dangerous because the person holding their dog could be dragged down and injured. Both of the dogs could be seriously injured and need veterinary care. It’s a certainty the event will be unpleasant for all involved.

Safety on land has never been as hazardous as it is now — on all of our highways. In the past, it was usually only on high-speed interstates that excessive speed occurred. Not anymore. Our rural roads are becoming race tracks and serious injuries and deaths are mounting. Many, or perhaps most, drivers don’t believe speed limits apply to them. Drivers even speed in residential areas where children are playing and speeds are posted at 25 mph. Secondary roads are usually posted at 45 mph and no one observes that speed either. Most travel at 60 and think nothing of traveling through intersections posted with stop signs. I know this fact from personal experience because I recently had a job where I was able to view the road and a nearby intersection.

Pointe aux Barques Road often serves as a bike path and is often crowded with bikers traveling in groups. Families like to bike together and tour groups can be seen in numbers up to 20 at a time. The reason they enjoy biking along that road is it provides beautiful, country views. Wildlife can be seen grazing in the fields or flying overhead.

I would like to see a bike path along that roadway because it is presently too narrow for more than one bike at a time and they have to travel on gravel. Cars, as I mentioned above, whiz by at 60 mph or more and pay no attention to the people on bikes. Perhaps others would like to join me in an appeal for a bike path? I would be happy to hear from you.

Another safety issue is visitors who enjoy our waterfront parks and beaches who are abusing them. Garbage and debris are one thing but sometimes sharp objects can be tossed aside and create a real hazard to those who follow. The objects may become buried in the sand and when a youngster begins building their sand castle, serious injury can occur. As I see it, a few minutes spent cleaning up after a visit to the waterfront will not set you back that far. Please think about it, enjoy your time and be considerate of others who will using the area after you depart.

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