Action needed to make roads safer

December 30, 2022

On Christmas Eve, everyone in the Cape Region was reminded just how fragile life is. About 8 p.m., a family of seven – two from Lewes and five from Temple, Pa. – was traveling together on Minos Conaway Road. As they attempted to turn onto Route 9, their minivan was struck by a vehicle traveling westbound. Three people, including a 9-year-old, were killed. What should’ve been a festive, family-filled weekend immediately turned to horror. 

This is the second fatal crash on Minos Conaway Road within the last few weeks. 

Regardless of which driver was at fault in this latest accident, the intersection of Minos Conaway Road and Route 9 remains one of the more dangerous junctions in the Cape Region. The Delaware Department of Transportation made improvements to it earlier this year, adding a merge/acceleration lane for westbound traffic, but these upgrades are not good enough for drivers attempting to make a left turn from Minos Conaway onto eastbound Route 9. At a Five Points Working Group meeting in April, it was reported that a feasibility study for a traffic signal was completed and determined just the aforementioned improvements were necessary. To us, however, a traffic signal is not only warranted, but desperately needed. 

The Cape Region’s roads are busier and more congested than ever, especially on Route 9 near the Vineyards, where Redner’s Fresh Market recently opened, and many new residents are moving in. Unfortunately, Delaware has experienced a near-record number of traffic-related deaths in 2022. As of Dec. 21, the total was 156. With at least three more in the ensuing week, the undesirable total is the second-highest of all time and creeps ever closer to the record of 165 from the late 1980s. 

We acknowledged this unfortunate trend in our Dec. 2 edition, when the editorial called on DelDOT officials to expedite improvements and asked drivers to take extra precautions while on the roadways. 

It bears repeating. Be careful on the roads. Leave earlier and take your time. If you’ve been drinking, let someone else drive or call an Uber. Leave your phone in your pocket or turn it off while driving. Little things add up and ensure a safer driving experience for everyone on the roads. We wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe new year. 

  • Editorials are considered and written by Cape Gazette Editorial Board members, including Publisher Chris Rausch, Editor Jen Ellingsworth, News Editor Nick Roth and reporters Ron MacArthur and Chris Flood. 

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