Another accident Tuesday snarled traffic along Route 119 in the area of the traffic light where the state highway intersects with Bellview Road in Bullskin Township.
The backup of vehicles extended at least a mile.
Add it to the list of virtually weekly accidents in that stretch of highway that has come synonymous with crashes — some of them resulting in serious injuries.
Almost immediately after emergency crews are called to the scene, citizen journalist advisories start making their way across social media platforms. Those posts are always met with the same comments — “That’s such a dangerous area,” or “they should really do something about that area because too many accidents happen there.”
Everyone seems to be in utter dismay that it has happened again — yet those crashes keep happening.
It’s a dangerous area not because there are traffic lights. Not because the state Department of Transportation needs to fix something. Not because the speed limit there is unreasonable.
Aggressive drivers who tailgate and speed through the 50-miles-per-hour stretch make it dangerous. Period.
On any given late afternoon or early evening, the area is polluted with motorists driving tri-axles, motorcycles, fully loaded tractor trailer trucks, small cars, box trucks, large cars, and everything in between. It’s moms with rear-facing car seats strapped in the back, truck drivers with heavy loads pushing them forward, teenagers who haven’t quite grasped the concept that no one is invincible, businessman late to a meeting. It’s anyone who appears to be offended by speed-limit followers making their way to or from somewhere. Those who aren’t trying to outrun each other can sit and watch, as those who weave in and out of cars, taking way too many chances, drive as if they are in a state of sheer panic to get somewhere.
To get where? A red light at the next traffic signal at the Route 982 intersection?
It truly is a sight to see most days. And quite honestly, a bit disturbing to watch how impatient some people are — even at the risk of causing injury to someone else.
Perhaps law enforcement could have a greater presence in the area, and start cracking down on those who follow another vehicle too closely or drive a bit recklessly to try to get even two car-lengths ahead of where they were. But it really is more about drivers understanding that patience and kindness isn’t something that is left in the driveway before you head out onto the roads with what could become a potentially dangerous 2,900-pound weapon.
Yes, even the most cautious of drivers can find themselves in an accident. But we can’t help but think that the rate of crashes in that area would sharply decrease if drivers would exercise more patience.
It’s terrible to think that people will only learn after something tragic has happened.