Letter to the Editor

Watch the speed on the roads

Sunday, July 13, 2008

To the Editor:

I am currently a Brazil resident. Recently, I was driving westbound on Interstate-70 on my way to Terre Haute when a driver's education car passed me as if it were a first responder emergency vehicle.

My first thought was that it must have been the instructor driving alone. Surely a responsible teacher wouldn't allow a student to drive at such a dangerously high speed, not to mention the high costs of a speeding ticket and possible reckless driving charges. It would also be assumed that the teacher's main concern would be the safety of both the driver and the other students in the car.

When the car flashed by me, I attempted to catch up to it, mostly out of pure curiosity. I was exceeding 80 mph and had difficulty even catching up with the car. It took me several miles to get close enough to see inside the vehicle.

When I got close enough to see, I was shocked to see that it was, in fact, a student driver behind the wheel.

Also in the car were two other students and an instructor. I could hardly believe my eyes.

After catching a quick glance at the identification on the side of the license plate number, I slowed back down to the posted speed limit of 65 mph and they quickly pulled away from me, continuing at a high rate of speed.

As I began to think about the situation, teenage fatalities in the past came to mind. Particularly the one beautiful girl from Brazil who was killed last year when her boyfriend was driving in a high-speed chase that resulted in her death. Perhaps he had the same careless instructor as these young drivers I had just witnessed learning how to drive in an unsafe manner that is clearly dangerous and against our state laws.

We assume driver's education classes are our best defense when it comes to our inexperienced young drivers learning to take on such a dangerous new role in their lives. I am certain the parents of the three students in this car would be very upset if they knew their money was going to an instructor who is teaching their children that it is safe to drive 80 mph and exceed the speed limit by 15 mph.

The world seems to be spinning out of control. War, inflation, flooding, lemonade stands being robbed. Even the safety and education of teen drivers has been compromised.

I am confident that one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch and I hope and pray that this was an isolated incident. I just have one hope for teen drivers: Slow down!

The world will wait on you and your life is too precious to risk in such a careless manner. Maybe you will even educate your instructor that your life is worth slowing down a bit and learning the right way.

If it is of any interest, the student drivers mentioned above were from Putnam County.

Mona Hofmann,