Road safety needs more attention

June 2, 2023

Memorial Day weekend was another stark reminder that all motorists in the Cape Region need to slow down, pay attention and drive defensively.

A May 25 crash shut down southbound Route 1 traffic at the Cave Neck Road intersection just as many folks were heading to our beaches for a long holiday weekend.

Fortunately, that accident didn’t kill anyone, but another crash in the same general area May 6 claimed two lives. A minor collision involving a cement truck also occurred in the vicinity May 19. 

The anger and concerns among local residents about these incidents have been reflected in our Viewpoints section. People are unhappy with the lack of roadway safety, particularly along the stretch of Route 1 between Route 16 and Five Points. 

Improvements are coming, but not soon enough. Something needs to be done now. 

As the husband of one of the women killed in the May 6 crash noted in a recent letter to the editor, median barriers are needed. They should have been added long ago. 

Other measures can be taken, too. Increased speed enforcement could send a clear message. Anyone who drives on Route 1 north of Nassau knows there is little enforcement. The result is a high-speed race to the light at Route 16, or from the signal to Nassau if traveling the other direction. 

When the Route 16 traffic signal is removed as part of the ongoing grade-separated intersection project, there will no stoplights on Route 1 from Christiana to Five Points. Some residents are concerned about what that will mean for the Cave Neck Road intersection, which is already a perilous crossing that backs up regularly. Until that grade-separated intersection is built — construction set to begin in 2025 and end in 2026 — transportation officials should add a temporary signal. 

The roads are not getting any safer. After tying the all-time record for traffic-related deaths in 2022 with 147, Delaware is on pace to set a new record in 2023. Through May 17, 61 fatalities have been recorded, compared to 56 in 2022. It will take a collective effort from drivers, law enforcement and transportation officials to effect change and make Delaware’s roadways safer for everyone. 


  • 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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