To the Editor:
The deer was beautiful. I first saw it out of the corner of my eye as we were both heading south on Spear Street on that heavily wooded section just south of Kwiniaska golf course. I was probably driving right around the 35-mph speed limit at the time. I had been speeding earlier on the open flat stretch of Spear Street where even 40 or 45 mph can feel slow.
The deer gained on me easily, bounding along the road with its gorgeous elegant long strides. Then suddenly, he or she, along with another beautiful fully grown deer, likely its mate, dashed across the road ahead of me. It all happened so fast, and then what happened next is replaying in slow motion in my head and likely will for a very long time: They both cleared my lane in a flash but only one deer made it safely across Spear St. The other deer was hit by the oncoming unsuspecting driver, who lacked the time to brake.
My heart goes out to the deer’s mate, who lost his or her partner in that flash crash of a moment. My heart goes out to the driver, who could have been me. If you’re reading this, I’m so sorry and I hope you’re OK.
For all I know, the driver was not speeding. But for years I have observed that speed kills. The faster you drive, the less reaction time you have when something unexpected happens. The faster you drive, the longer it takes to come to a full stop. The faster you drive, the less time an animal has to react. Let’s all slow down. Especially at this time of year when many animals are returning to a more active routine and may not have their reflexes in peak form.
But let’s all slow down anyway. That includes running red lights on Shelburne Road. I have never seen so many drivers in any city run red lights the way my fellow drivers do at the Bostwick/Marsett/Route 7 intersection or anywhere along the corridor to Burlington. It baffles me. I have recently counted to two or three and repeatedly looked both ways even after the light turns green at Bostwick/ Route 7, fully expecting a flagrant running of that red light.
Can you slow down or is it not in your nature?