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Perspective: Traffic trouble


A lot of drivers seem to be angry these days. Recently, as I was driving on Seventh Street, a car that had been behind me sped up and passed me. A few days later, it happened again, this time on Hillcrest Drive. These are two-lane residential streets, full of kids, cyclists and pedestrians.

And more frequently nowadays, I notice that other drivers cut me off and tailgate for miles, more signs of angry driving. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a careful driver and tend to stick to the speed limit. In the past, this has seemed like the best way to stay safe. I’m not so sure about that anymore.

In a recent report, Sheriff Andy Sullivan said DeKalb County has seen an increase in collisions, noting that people are following too closely, they’re driving too fast, and they don’t give themselves the proper amount of time to slow down and react.

Sullivan noted that 2022 was the deadliest year in a decade for traffic accidents in DeKalb County, with 16 fatalities.

But of course this isn’t just a DeKalb County problem. People all over the country are noticing that during the past few years, more drivers have been exhibiting rude and reckless behavior. Perhaps it’s because of the pandemic or maybe it’s the divisive times we live in. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that we all share the roads and want to get home in one piece.

I’m Deborah Booth and that’s my perspective.

Deborah Booth retired in Fall 2014 from NIU, where she was the director of External Programs for the College of Visual and Performing Arts.