` The Genie is out of the Bottle?
The genie is out of the bottle? I not sure exactly when it actually happened, but as anyone who reads the recent number of DUI’s and/or traffic deaths on our streets and highways it is apparent that something is incredibly wrong.
When a mother driving her children to school at 7:30 am, or a nurse driving home from her night shift at a local hospital die at the hand of drunk driver, perhaps by an inattentive driver, we have a problem. Every one of these tragic deaths only represents the tip of the iceberg? From my perspective, the problem is that unless those in charge come together and try to make our streets and life safer, things can actually get worse? Bottom line—those in power need to have a conference or forum and ask mental health, law enforcement, parents, teens, winery workers, pot growers, educators, senior citizens, parents, migrant workers, brewery owners, etc. to come together and figure out what needs to be done to prevent the spiraling traffic deaths in our community.
For example, the speed limits on many of our country roads are in direct conflict with drivers, pedestrians and bikers. I frequently see children and parents walking or biking on Occidental and Green Valley roads navigating the three-foot-wide bike lanes, while cars race by at a ridiculous posted 50 mph speed limit? Whoever is in charge of deciding the speed limits, I ask them to participate in the community meeting to hear their proposals on traffic safety as well as the rationale for the posted speed limits.
In addition, there are the tourists who frequent the 456 wineries in our county. Still not sure who felt we needed 456 wineries; however, alcohol consumption, like pot, has become too normalized. I would like winery owners and/or their hosts to come to the forum to tell us how much transparency is presented to tourists about drinking and our hazardous roads?
In addition, let us invite owners affiliated with liquor markets, grocery stores, etc. to explain what they are doing to control the sales of alcohol to underage or individuals who might propose a risk.
Further, can we please invite politicians to see what they can do to lower the blood alcohol rate to .05 or thereabouts. I would invite the highway patrol and local place to commend them on the preventative programs such as DUI checkpoints and surveillance.
Lastly, invite teens who drive the roads each day to school and work. Each year another group of 16 year olds will obtain their driver licenses. What suggestions would they have about cell phone use as well as drinking, smoking pot and driving?
I started out with the genie in the bottle metaphor to explain why our roads have become so dangerous. Again, we need to have a community forum in Sonoma county about what needs to be done to protect everyone from becoming a statistic. If you do not want to do it for yourself, then we need to do it for our kids. Why wait for another tragedy to happen? David Sortino Ph.D. is the Director of the Neurofeedback Institute.