Tiger Basketball - LSU @ Alabama
Text Us: 870870
Studio: (504)260.1870
| More

Scoot's Blog

Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

Weeknights 8pm-Midnight

Twitter: @scootwwl
Email: scoot@wwl.com
Facebook: Scoot on the Air


Scoot: Driving the Causeway - A Lesson in Personal Accountability

Another accident on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway ended with a vehicle going over the guard rail and the loss of life.  This was the third accident this year that resulted in a vehicle going over the guard rail.  Now, the Causeway Commission is talking about improving the safety of the 24-mile long bridge, including installing new guard rails.  But is the bridge itself unsafe – or the drivers on the bridge unsafe?  

All of the accidents that led to vehicles going over the rail into the lake occurred on the southbound bridge, which was the original bridge built in 1956.  The guard rail on the southbound bridge is about 6 inches lower and is literally a ‘rail’ compared to the concrete embankment on the newer northbound bridge.  Larry Rase, chairman of the Causeway Commission said that many vehicles today are higher from the ground and have a different center of gravity and the original railing was not designed to contain these types of higher-profile vehicles.  

In the past 20 years there have been 10 vehicles that have gone over the guard rail of the Causeway.  Those accidents are tragic, but with over 40,000 vehicles traveling the Causeway every day, the percentage of such accidents is extremely low.

Before the Causeway Commission considers spending approximately $28 million to raise the height of the southbound guard rails by 6 inches, I think it’s important to talk about general motorist safety on the bridge.  Resorting to raising the height of the guard rail in response to another accident only distracts from addressing the more important issue of driver safety and ‘personal accountability.’

A 19-year-old was killed when the truck he was driving hit the guard rail of the Causeway southbound and flew into the lake.  Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said the truck “was in the right lane. It drifted slowly to the left lane, impacted the left guard rail, then veered to the right to hit the right guard rail and almost immediately took a hard left, almost a 90 degree left, departed, went over the rail.”

With no disrespect for the young man driving the truck, is it reasonable to assume that an additional 6 inches of guard rail would have prevented that truck or any of the other vehicles from going over the side into the lake?  It is true that all three of these recent accidents that ended with a vehicle going over were on the older southbound bridge, but is the height of the railing really to blame?

I lived on the North Shore on several occasions and I have witnessed outrageous driving both north and southbound.  The fact is that the Causeway is a dangerous stretch of highway.  It is safe in that there are no intersections with cross traffic, but it is dangerous because there is no shoulder and too many drivers get on the Causeway and see a straight, open highway ahead and they push the limits of speed.  Driving the Causeway can also be monotonous, which invites motorists to pass the time doing things that distract from driving – like reading newspapers, books, texting and even putting on make-up!

The idea of constructing new guard rails on the Causeway at the cost of $28 million will mean a huge contract for some business.  All too often we have been witness to someone’s friend, family member or business acquaintance reaping the benefits of millions spent on a project that may not actually solve a problem.  This is not to suggest anything inappropriate about the Causeway Commission, but it is a human instinct to define a problem following any tragedy and seek the most visible and tangible solution to reassure the public that the problem has been addressed.  Unfortunately, problems are often not accurately defined and money is wasted.

The Causeway Commission is also considering lowering the speed limit on the bridge.  The speed limit is currently 65, but if you drive 65, vehicles will whiz by you for the 24-mile trip.  Even at 50 mph or 55 mph, especially in a high-profile vehicle, hitting a guard rail and bouncing from one side to the other may not prevent vehicles from ending up in the lake.  In fact, the guard rail may lead to a pinball-effect of a vehicle hitting more vehicles.

Let’s not be so quick to blame the structure of the bridge when the constant attention to driving safely may be the better solution and a solution that costs nothing.  The tendency to blame anything tangible is rooted in the continuing demise of ‘personal accountability’ in America.

There is a great amount of ‘personal accountability that goes along with driving any vehicle and assessing the size of the vehicle and the surroundings, like the height of a guard rail on a bridge, is part of that responsibility.  Every driver also has the responsibility to consider the size of the vehicle they are driving.  Different skills are required for safely driving a Ford Explorer compared to a Honda Civic and it is the sole responsibility of the drive to understand how to drive safely – regardless of what type of vehicle he or she is driving.

You have the freedom to drive the Causeway – but you also have the responsibility to drive safely and to understand that there are certain inherit dangers in crossing that 24-mile bridge.

Maybe the Causeway should offer a disclaimer – “Drive at your own risk!” – which should be a universal understanding whenever any driver gets behind the wheel of any vehicle!
 


Tags :  
Topics : Disaster_Accident
Social :
People : Carlton DufrechouLarry Rase




 
10/02/2013 7:21PM
Scoot: Driving the Causeway - A Lesson in Personal Accountability
Please Enter Your Comments Below
10/03/2013 12:59PM
We have transferred over six trillion dollars ...
in the past 50 years from producers to NON-producers. At what point is it enough. IT NEVER IS. Obama could round up all the people making $100,000.00 a year and above (some doing this with both spouses working), kill them, seize their assets, and give all the money to the black caucus and whatever other pity party group and it would still not be enough. Liberalism does NOT work because liberals pay people NOT to work. Sad that Scooter supports another failed liberal program, ObamaCare.
10/03/2013 1:01PM
The Nasty Harry Reid and the aye-hole Obama will blame Republicans for this ...
if the gay lobby blames the railing, Scooter will change his tune.
10/03/2013 6:36PM
DEMS UNLEASHED: Angry name calling, bombastic insults, rhetorical bullying...
Hope all the Dem B!TCHES get cancer and die a VERY SLOW painful, horrible death along with their families, dogs and cats ... feel better Dems? Dems LOVE HATE SPEECH. They will love this post ... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!! ... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!... HATE! MORE HATE! BRING IT ON!!!!
10/03/2013 7:48PM
If Obama would just be named King of the Planet this would not have happened.
If there were no opposition to abortion, this kid may have died without knowing it. Yea, Scoot, we just need more Liberalism and tyrant running the country. Who knew.
10/03/2013 11:01PM
When Dirty Harry Reid finally drops dead of a heart attack or whatever ...
we will celebrate!!!!! The WICKED B!TCH is DEAD!!!!!!! Dems love HATE SPEECH ... LOL!!!!!!
Title :
Comment :
Recent Posts
Categories
Tag Cloud
No Tags Found !
Archives