Letter: Ron Campbell, Leesburg

Editor: Early on the morning on Aug. 31, around 7:45 a.m., my wife and I left our home in Potomac Station and headed east in the right lane on Ft. Evans Road and continued up Riverside Parkway. Traffic was heavy and by 7:55 a.m. we stopped at the next traffic light which was at Coton Manor Drive. Most cars seemed in a rush with little regard for the posted speed signs and in fact the lack of regard for the posted speed at 40 mph is a regular occurrence and I must admit I have also been guilty at times.

When we stopped at the light at Coton Manor Drive, I noticed a car headed north on Coton Manor Drive but it had to stop in the crosswalk  to avoid going into traffic. I also noticed a mother and her child in a stroller at that same corner looking to cross the street headed west down Riverside Parkway. The mother and child had to wait until the driver put his car in reverse to allow the mother and child to safely pass. I was initially so concerned that I mentioned this to my wife and I looked in my rear view mirror as we proceeded to make sure all was OK. Speed played a factor in this scenario, it always does and what usually happens is the car does not back up, it proceeds to move forward so it can turn right on red as soon as possible even if that means blocking the crosswalk.

Later that morning my wife and I heard of the tragic accident at that same intersection and our hearts were broken wondering if the same family we had seen earlier might have been the victims as the reported time of the accident was 8:15 am and we were at that scene only 20 minutes earlier. I later found out that the description of the mother and child involved in this accident did not match the mother and child that I had seen earlier but it brought no real comfort.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and we pray for their comfort during this difficult time. I would imagine that the driver is also in pain and needs prayer and support as this was a tragic accident as noted at this time.

I wanted write this letter tonight because as we all think of what we can do to protect ourselves and our families, I ask you to do this one thing to protect us all – “Please Slow Down”.

Our roads can only be safe for pedestrians and cars if we obey the posted speed signs, allow safe space between cars and when the light turns yellow prepare to stop. Observe crosswalks and those who use them, especially in school zones and all neighborhoods.

My wife and I stopped by the accident scene later this evening and it was sad to observe the outpouring of love of sympathy thinking that maybe this could have been avoided.

I promise to be a better driver knowing that I have the responsibility to protect your family and mine.

I ask us all to please slow down, be observant, stay off the phone, and potentially save a life  and if I see you speeding, I will ask you to please slow down.

Ron Campbell, Leesburg

One thought on “Letter: Ron Campbell, Leesburg

  • 2016-09-01 at 11:04 am

    Excellent letter Mr.Campbell and I couldn’t agree more. Like you, I encounter far too many drivers seemingly convinced they, and they alone, are so important they must risk the safety of others in order to move up one car space at the next traffic signal.

    Then, there are the “texters.” I’ve been driven off the road twice in the last few months due to individuals texting; there is shock in their eyes and the stupid phone in their hands when they look up and find themselves in opposing traffic.

    The next time you’re waiting for a light — look around — I guarantee a significant portion of your fellow drivers will be in the act of texting; which is illegal. It’s plain that if the town and county were actually serious about enforcing the no texting law, they would quickly realize enough in offender fines to cover a plethora of traffic improvements, nice to haves, and possibly, just possibly, not raise taxes. I know, I know, a politician who doesn’t want to raise taxes on Loudoun homeowners… crazy talk.

    All that’s needed is a single uniformed officer or deputy standing at the intersection. At every light cycle, they simply have to walk down the line and tap on windows to direct the offender to an adjacent parking area to receive their ticket, because texters are completely unaware of anything going on around them. We’d soon be rolling in money, and just maybe, the message would sink in: There is nothing so important, no message so critical, no goofy thread so essential that you must put the lives of others at risk, so you can send just one more emoji.

    If you are so honored Mr. Campbell, by the voters of the town, perhaps you could be the catalyst on the council to push for strict no texting enforcement. Many would thank you.

Leave a Reply