In my column last week I wrote about the Ohio State Highway Patrol attempting to address the rise in vehicle accident deaths. In the column, I wondered if the Patrol would be able to do anything to reduce the number of accidents. I said I didn't want to see anymore press releases from Lt. Brian Holt, who issues the press releases for the Patrol whenever there is a fatality.
In a column before that, I wrote about the unfortunate death of 46-year-old Warren firefighter Marc Titus. In the Titus column, I said it was bad luck and bad timing when his motorcycle rammed into an overturned truck on state Route 11 after dark. He was killed in the accident.
I received some interesting emails last week, so I think I'll share them with you. These folks didn't ask for their correspondence to be used in a letter to the editor. They were just responding to the column. There is, however, a letter to the editor on this page related to the topic.
First, the column about the accidents:
''I disagree with you totally. I believe that if people, including 'teenagers' read and see pictures about the terrible accidents in the Tribune and / or possibly if they read the articles on their computer, they will think twice about speeding. I may be wrong, but if the teenagers and young adults are not shown 'what can happen if they speed and are reckless,' the accidents will multiply. You must reconsider your statement and continue to publish articles and pictures to try to show the drivers what can happen.
''I believe that these kind of articles and especially with pictures definitely need to be published in the Tribune and all other newspapers. They show to the public what can happen and will happen if people speed, drive while intoxicated, or on drugs or just showing off for their friends. I do hope the Tribune doesn't stop using these pictures.'' That was from ''a concerned reader,'' Ruth Bloom (no address provided).
And this one was about the accidents, too:
''I had the chance to read your post (column) about all of my emails. I want to say, first, that I enjoy the relationship the Patrol and the Tribune share. I have not ever been misquoted or got bad publicity. I like the points you made in the article and appreciate the support you give the Patrol in doing what we do in order to reduce crashes, injuries and death. Most people have a skewed perception of our mission. I found it to be very refreshing. Thank you." - Lt. Brian Holt, Ohio State Highway Patrol
And here are excerpts of a response about the King Graves Road state Route 11 interchange, where Marc Titus was killed:
''... I never knew Marc Titus but intended to write to you when it (the accident) happened and now I see you mentioned this accident in today's paper. The exit ramp from Route 11 at King Graves Road has no street lights and on a pitch dark night it is very hard to see when coming off Route 11. Once last winter on a bad night I followed a car that exited off Route 11 and then turned left onto King Graves Road and as it crossed over Route 11 but it was so dark that they couldn't find the ramp and started to make a turn that would have put them right over onto Route 11. Luckily the person driving the car was able to stop in time, back up and go on over to the ramp that led back to Route 11. All this time I had stopped on top of Route 11 in case they needed help.
''This is only one of the cases that I have seen having a problem in the total darkness there. When crossing over Route 82 near Avalon there are so many light poles that it seems like a waste of power. If just two of those light poles were moved to King Graves exit putting just one on each side of Route 11 it would serve both the on and off ramps on each side of the road. Had this been the case there would have been some light at the exit and just maybe Marc Titus would have seen the truck and been able to avoid hitting it.
''Several years ago after seeing several of these different incidents I wrote to the ODOT office in Ravenna and explained the situation and said that they should look into putting some lights there before something tragic happened. This exit is used by people going and coming to the airport and also the air base. I never even received an acknowledgment from ODOT. However, I am going to write to them again. My hope is that if the Tribune exposed this situation maybe we could avoid another calamity.'' - Pat Fisher
Those are some interesting comments, and they show that people really do care about motorists' safety. It sounds like some lights are needed at the King Graves / Route 11 interchange. It also is apparent that some people are worried that young adults and others are not aware of the dangers involved when they get behind the wheel. And maybe, just maybe, there eventually will be some lighting installed at the King Graves interchange.
Robinson is the editor of the Tribune Chronicle.