"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
Several weeks ago, we had two horrific accidents on I-85 where traffic backs up merging onto I-77 south.
If you drive that area, you know that long lines form and vehicles dart in and out jockeying for position…sometimes with deadly consequences.
Back in January, one man was killed and another seriously injured while crossing the street uptown at Stonewall and College.
We've already had 17 pedestrians struck and killed in Charlotte this year alone.
And you can probably relay your own horror stories about problems on Independence Blvd., I-485, or anywhere else in the area.
The point is, we locals know these situations.
But now, Charlotte has thousands of visitors coming into town who don't.
Chances are, drivers are going to be unsure of the road signs…
They may make last-minute lane changes…or not be ready for pedestrians darting across the street.
Conventioneers uptown may be focused more on their day's activities than on where they're walking.
And so, it's up to us – those who know better – to cut them some slack…to be on OUR best driving – and walking – behaviors.
Drivers: pay close attention…slow down…allow for the unexpected.
And if you're walking, take control of your own life.
Get your head out of your cell phone. Don't jaywalk.
And don't assume drivers will be looking out for you.
Let's get our guests into town and back home safely.
Come to think of it, that might be a plan for us locals as well throughout the whole year.
Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.