Scooby, the elderly, deaf Chihuahua (mix, it appears) who ran off after his owner and he were involved in yesterday’s four-vehicle collision in Point Harbor, was found last night and is now safe at home. The Beacon hopes Scooby’s and his owner’s recovery from their traumatic incident will be swift and uneventful. We wish the same to the other victims of the crash.

With the high volume of traffic that we have on the Outer Banks, its stop-and-go nature, the tendency of some drivers to speed when the road opens up for a few car lengths, and other hazards unique to our roadways (sudden turns without signals, e.g.), we have to be alert to all that is happening around us when we drive. I often muse that some drivers don’t see farther than the bumper in front of them.  Those are the people we have to be aware of and stay clear of.

On rainy days, like today, when people abandon the beach for the shops, such drivers are seemingly everywhere. They put me in mind of a “rule” I learned from my driver’s education instructors many years ago when I was in high school: Always leave yourself an out. There were more “outs” on the roads when I was learning to drive.

I often visit the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas. They are former stomping grounds for me, and I love “getting away” to the city for a few days. Before I go or upon my return, my friends always ask me: “How can you stand the awful traffic?”

I typically respond by extolling the public-transportation system and explaining that the worst part of my trip is the coming and going on the interstates. Once I’m in the city, I have no trouble getting around.

When you spend 2 1/2 hours crossing the Wright Memorial Bridge, as Chicahauk homeowner John Booth did yesterday, you might as well be on Interstate 95, stuck behind a multi-vehicle pileup. Actually, the bridge is far worse, because you can’t bail to U.S. Hwy. 1. Even the D.C. Beltway moves faster than 3 miles per 2 1/2 hours during the worst Friday rush hour.

Have a safe and relaxing Monday, folks. And if you have to drive on the congested roadways, please try to leave yourself an out.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 7/8/19






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