Be safe on the roads

December 2, 2022

Earlier this week, a New Castle crash resulted in the deaths of four people. The fatalities increased Delaware’s number of traffic-related deaths to 144 in 2022, surpassing the 2021 total of 139, which had been the most fatalities since 2006 when the state saw 147 deaths.

With a lot of people on the road over the next few weeks during the holidays, it’s possible the fatalities number will even exceed the 2006 total.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, the Lewes Fire Department responded to three crashes within an hour – two on Route 9 and another at the southern base of the Nassau Bridge. Two days later, a mother and her 4-year-old child were hospitalized after another Route 9 accident.

Crashes at the Nassau Bridge are nothing new. We’ve previously called on DelDOT to close the southern crossover, which is a simple fix that can be done without restricting access to Lewes Fire Department trucks and ambulances.

Route 9 traffic is also concerning. Over the last few years, traffic has grown heavier, specifically from Five Points west past the new Redner’s Fresh Market, but problem areas also exist farther west toward Georgetown. DelDOT has installed traffic lights and improved intersections, but more work needs to be done to make the road safer.

On Route 1 north of the Nassau Bridge, the posted speed limit of 55 mph seems to be more of a suggestion, as most drivers travel at least 65, with many pushing 70 or 75 mph. Speed enforcement is a necessity between Route 16 and Five Points.

The ideal scenario is that drivers follow the rules of the road – drive at a safe speed, use turn signals, turn on headlights at dawn and dusk, and in the rain, and use best judgment at intersections. Signs that say “Look Again” are certainly apropos.

During this busy time of year, it is incumbent upon those of us traveling the roads to be courteous, conscientious and consider the safety of everyone – drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians – so we can all enjoy the holiday season with our friends and family.

  • 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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