It’s time again to redouble efforts to save lives on interstates that traverse the state.
The reasons are clear.
Jo Maureen Fisher, of Goose Creek, S.C., who died Tuesday after being struck by a rock thrown from an I-20 pothole east of Heflin, is the latest tragic example, but the examples don’t stop there.
Readers Digest this week ranked Alabama in the top 10 in three negative interstate categories. And TomTom, which markets GPS devices, has rated the state as having the fifth highest average interstate speed (69.6 mpg) in America.
The Alabama Department of Transportation’s decision to reduce the I-20 speed limit from 70 mph to 55 mph between Calhoun County and the Georgia state line seems a knee-jerk reaction to Fisher’s death. It may have little tangible effect.
Even so, the state must stay vigilant in its quest to reduce interstate speeders and fatalities. That must be the goal. While the troopers’ safety program, “Take Back Our Highways,” has reduced fatalities, more funding for additional troopers to patrol our interstates would help.
For too many years, the driving culture and lack of enforcement in Alabama have turned interstates into unregulated speedways. Drivers’ habits are hard to break. For many, it’s too easy to go 80 mph — or faster — when there’s little fear of getting a ticket.
Reducing speed limits is one thing. But without strict enforcement, too many drivers will merely honk at those updated signs as they speed past.