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Rumble sound strips an aid to traffic safety

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To The Editor:

Last week a project for installing centerline rumble sound strips on Route 68 from Ogdensburg to Canton, Route 11 from Canton to Potsdam and Route 56 from Hannawa Falls to Seveys Corner was completed that added a measure of safety to those roads,

Studies regarding their use in the states of Washington, Pennsylvania and Minnesota over a multi-year time span indicated reduction of head-on fatalities by 45 percent.

Centerline paint stripes show up better in more types of weather conditions and are more durable placed on top of the strips, making them all the more economical.

There are no known negatives to this safety device, which in time will save some lives in our county... a shame they weren’t present on Route 37 a few weeks ago when there was an unexplained head-on that resulted in a triple fatality... could have been caused by a distraction like texting - exactly the kind of lane wobbling that the strips prevent so effectively.

But unfortunately Route 37 was not included in the recent work - a contract amounting to about $100,000 ($1,000 per mile approximately) for the 97 miles that were treated.

One human life - priceless and irreplaceable - if calculated for life insurance and other long-term economic costs would be well beyond $100,000.

Looks like we will wait quite a while before Route 37 gets the treatment it so needs at such a low per-mile cost.

Why do we spend $50 billion per year on Homeland Security hoping to prevent something that might or might not happen while we spend less than one tenth that amount in an inadequate attempt to avoid the 34,000 deaths that are virtually certain to happen ... we should be installing center guard rails - using some of that HS money - but in the meantime as a temporary low-cost safety measure get those sound strips installed that will offer a vital interim protection till guard rail money can be allocated.

Hoping for some common sense in our national safety policies.

Richard Carlisle

Waddington

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