Editorial: What about safer roads?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 6, 2008

A bill in the state Legislature calls for tougher design and inspection standards for pool drains. There needs to be some common sense applied here.

People get into car wrecks daily, yet are lawmakers considering measures to make highways safer this sessoin? No.

Apparently, it is perfectly safe to zip down highways at 70 mph with thousands of other motorists in various states of fatigue, visual impairment, sobriety and distraction &8212; even though 600 people die each year on Minnesota&8217;s roads &8212; yet if one girl in Edina is injured in a pool, suddenly more pool laws are needed.

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Are lives lost in car wrecks less valuable than injuries in pools?

Yes, passing a law for pool drains is fine. But reasonably speaking, if leaders go on a safety bender this year, wouldn&8217;t it make more sense to first pass a cell-phone-while-driving law? Or perhaps have stronger licensing requirements for visual impairments? Or perhaps increase funding for police crackdowns on drunken driving? Or give the Minnesota Department of Transportation the resources it needs to keep roads free of snow and ice.

There&8217;s nothing wrong with safer pools, but aren&8217;t there other safety issues facing Minnesotans, too? Most of us don&8217;t have pools. Most have cars.