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Take driving more seriously

Dear Editor:This is partially in response to the letter from Kim Vieira published on March 1, as well as an observation of mine that has been “bubbling” inside for years – namely, why are there so many preposterous signs on the roads in this country?Dear Kim Vieira, the one you point out: MOVE OVER ONE LANE WHEN EMERGENCY VEHICLES ON SHOULDER is unfortunately not unique to Aspen – I saw identical signs in Kansas. My 19-year-old daughter used this as an example to describe Kansas mentality. Boy, will she be upset now! Maybe because I grew up in Europe I always notice similar absurdities, i.e. YIELD TO TRAFFIC IN CIRCLE (next to the international YIELD sign) or STOP WHEN PEDESTRIANS ARE PRESENT. You cannot imagine how much America is laughed at exactly for this type of signage. But I absolutely agree – this is not a laughing matter. Here’s what I think.First, 16 years is too young an age to drive – in most other countries it is at least 18. Second, in many European countries you cannot obtain a driver’s license without a mandatory class. Third, the test itself is much, much more serious. For illustration – when I had a written driving test in Russia, out of 10 questions there was only one error allowed; here I believe out of 25 questions you can err seven times (do not remember exactly, but in the ball park). When I was studying for my American driving test, my stepson noticed that I was the first person he knew who actually had read “The Driving Manual.” I am in no way shaming America – this country has been very generous to me and I love Aspen particularly, however the fact remains that a friend of mine passed the written driving test here without actually being able to read English …You are correct, Kim Vieira – we do not need message boards to be responsible people – how many people read message boards anyway? I bet mostly those who are responsible to begin with. I believe responsible driving should be on a school curriculum – mandatory for all, just like secondary education itself. And to end on a positive note I would like to recall a “traffic accident” teaching episode Aspen police presented to the local high school students right on the parking lot before the school building a few years ago – my daughter came home very impressed and acutely aware. I hope they do it every year!Olga LoutokhinaAspen


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