By Rick Bass

Driving our greater Vail area with single lane roadways, higher speed limits, increased multi-use traffic, on-going construction and limited visibility (blind intersections) call for attentive and safe driving habits.
In researching this article, I asked many area residents their concerns and experiences while driving our roads. This survey is not scientific in nature, however it does serve the purpose of demonstrating the safety concerns many residents share while traversing our byways.

Here is a sampling of our Vail area road safety concerns:

Lack of road infrastructure (single lane roadways and signals) and an increase in road congestion.

Aggressive and unsafe driving habits:

Tailgating and unlawful speeding (including school zones).

Unsafe passing: Passing on the right side of a single lane roadway (bicycle lane); passing on a double line including the passing of fire trucks; using the center turn lane for a passing lane; passing stopped school buses with red flashing stop sign activated.
Night driving with high beams and after-market driving lights designed for off-road application.

Safety of pedestrians, joggers and bicyclists who share the road with vehicular traffic.

Slow drivers who impede traffic flow.
A special concern is the unyielding (move to the right law) to emergency vehicles responding to 911 emergency calls as explained to me by Rincon Valley Fire Chief, Jayme Kahle. There is an increase of Vail area motorists not obeying the law to pull to the right and yield when emergency vehicles are approaching with flashing lights and sirens. Critical response times are compromised and the potential for more accidents increases. Our single lane undivided roadways require immediate yielding to all emergency vehicles responding to 911 calls.
The web site has a page dedicated to Vail Area Road Safety.

Topics of Vail Area Road Safety Include:

Top five observable unsafe & dangerous Vail area driving habits.

Special Note of Concern From Rincon Valley Fire Chief, Jayme L. Kahle.
Texting & Driving – “It Can Wait.”
School Bus Safety – “Know The Law.”
A Guide For Bicyclists and Motorists.
Railroad Safety – “Trains and Cars Don’t Mix.”

And more…

Driving our Vail area roadways requires all motorists to obey the traffic laws and take the safety of their lives and others seriously. The life you save may be your own, your family or community member. Drive carefully – “Be Vail Safe & Vail Ready!”

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Rick Bass is a USAF Veteran. He has extensive background in crisis management, suicide prevention and re-source development for the disabled. A lifelong community volunteer and a new age music composer, he enjoys the expansive beauty of the Vail area.

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