OUR VIEW: Drivers need to get serious

Drivers need to pay more attention. It could save your life and at least save you from a crash and the expenses that come with it.

Drivers need to pay more attention. It could save your life and at least save you from a crash and the expenses that come with it.

A driver was seen this week going the wrong way on Beacon Avenue in Sidney. Seemingly oblivious to actions by other drivers and people on foot nearby, the driver of a red SUV headed the wrong way up the one-way portion of the road.

They paid no heed to arms waving, high beams flashing and calls to their error by at least one passer-by. One driver was astonished that the driver never even made eye contact with the people trying to get her attention.

In this case, other drivers stopped and let the other vehicle get up the street far enough to make a turn onto another road. Had the other drivers not paid attention to this, there could have been a serious crash.

Beacon Avenue has been one-way for quite a few years now — and the subject of some ongoing traffic planning controversy — so how a local driver could not know this is beyond belief. If the driver was not local, they sure missed some pretty obvious signs telling them they were about to go the wrong way.

Experienced or not, drivers can benefit from regular updates, upgrades or simply a refresher to their skills. This is especially more important these days, with all of the potential distractions out there in the form of electronic devices — cell phones, GPS systems and even small TVs in the dashboard. A driver might be perfectly capable of handling their vehicle, but if they’re distracted they could do some damage or really hurt someone.

A skills refresher would also do well to remind drivers that when the weather changes, so must how we drive. Slowing down and being more attentive to those skills we have becomes more important in rain and snow and low visibility. Good tires and safety features are fine to have, but they can’t replace a good driver.

Nor will superfluous safety measures, such as concrete lane dividers, overcome the deficiencies of a distracted or unsafe driver.

It’s time drivers took their jobs behind the wheel a little more seriously.