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home : opinions : editorials June 25, 2016

1/8/2013 2:02:00 PM
Editorial: Slow and steady behind the wheel
Williams-Grand Canyon News

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Highway 64 is no place to be in a hurry. But, more often than not, motorists on the mostly two-lane roadway seem to think the driver in front of them is going way too slow. So much so that they recklessly pass on the left on blind turns and while approaching uphill grades with no view of oncoming traffic.

The Grand Canyon isn't going anywhere. It has been there for millions of years, and will be there for many more.

Likewise, Williams, Valle, Flagstaff - they won't likely disappear any time soon either.

Think speeding will get you there faster? Consider this information found on the state of Kansas Highway Patrol website.

An experiment conducted by the Minnesota Safety Council had two drivers travel over the same 1,000-mile route in similar vehicles. The fast driver passed 2,000 cars, braked 1,339 times and covered the distance in 20 hours, 12 minutes. The slow driver flowed with traffic, passed only 13 cars, and braked 652 times. It took him 20 hours, 43 minutes, just 31 minutes longer than the fast driver. The faster car used 10 gallons more gas, and the driver's pulse rate rose because of the tension and the risks he took.

Taking the speed at which we arrive at our destination out of the picture, think about animals on the roadway. Big animals. Nobody wants to hit an elk. And, if you're speeding, you're taking a much bigger risk.

Visitors to the Grand Canyon come from all over the world. They may be accustomed to driving on the left side of the road. They may not realize what an elk can do to a car. They might not understand that at an elevation of around 7,000 feet, snow and ice are concerns for the majority of the year, not just the winter months.

Sgt. Jeff Brownlee, with DPS District Two - Squad Two based out of Williams, said the bulk of traffic in the region is comprised of visitors to the area.

He and his seven officers patrol 110 miles of roadway including 55 miles of State Route 64 to the Grand Canyon.

Brownlee said most people who roll their vehicles do so because they don't slow down in hazardous weather conditions like rain, snow and fog.

So, the next time you're heading home to the Canyon, traveling to Flagstaff to go shopping or visiting Williams, remember - slow and steady wins the race.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Article comment by: Bob Blasi

Right On! Driving Rt.64 is probably the most dangerous thing we do. Now if we could just get the basic amenities here, we could reduce the risk even more. Great Article!

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