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Traffic violations: Be careful out there

You never know who (or what) you might run into on the roads. (Provided photo — Diane Chase)

Every person in my family has gotten some sort of traffic violation. I don’t think that makes us bad drivers in case you feel the need to clear a path when you see one of us coming.

Just because we’ve been in accidents doesn’t mean we were always at fault. (I was once in San Francisco for work and was in a collision because a construction worker had moved a stop sign out of view and had forgotten to lower it. Two totaled cars and physical therapy was the outcome.) Though there have been times that we have been clearly at fault. (For some reason I can remember that the speed limit is 30 MPH coming into Saranac Lake, but not when I leave.)

My point is that each time something has happened, we’ve learned from the situation. We’ve paid our fines. We’ve paid for the damage. We’ve learned that setting the speed control is always a good idea. We’ve learned that snow and ice conditions require different rules, even if we were going the recommended speed limit.

I’ve been stopped by officers who have approached my vehicle like I was a criminal. I have been stopped by officers who have tried to put me at ease while writing me a ticket. It has taught me to know that I am not in control of the outcome.

Sometimes my children have been in my car when I’ve been stopped. Those times have been the most jarring. Those times have stood as a reminder that I am responsible, not only for myself but for my passengers and each stranger on the road. I’ve always presented myself as an imperfect parent. I feel that my children can make mistakes and learn from them far quicker while understanding that everyone blunders now and again.

I remember one time when someone in the family had a car “episode” where no one was hurt and nothing was damaged. The other driver could have gotten angry. Instead, that person decided to spend her time helping, even though she had been hit from behind. The other driver was able to provide more insight to the inexperienced driver than I ever could have as a parent.

I keep hearing more accidents are happening around the area. I don’t know if it’s attributed to more visitors, more wildlife, or more inexperienced drivers. Most likely it’s a combination of all the above. Whatever the reason, please remember road rage isn’t the answer. Stay safe.

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