When Do Roads Become Too Dangerous

Payton McClintock

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Teen Brittany Erding from Minnesota is considered to be very lucky after walking away from a brutal crash caused by bad driving conditions.  On Monday, January 12th, Brittany was driving home when she lost control of her car on an icy turn and plunged off a bridge into the freezing river below.  She was out of sight from other vehicles on the road and had to climb to the roof of her car to save herself.  Her accident causes the recurring question to rise once more, at what point do school officials declare the roads “unsafe”?

On Monday, January 26th, many Thomas Worthington HS students argued that the roads were unsafe, and that a two-hour delay was not enough to get the roads into good driving condition.  Nearby Hilliard, Olentangy, Dublin, and Columbus City Schools were called off which further encouraged the complaints of Thomas students and their parents.

Bob Galasso, a teacher at Thomas Worthington for the past 24 years, stated that he was very surprised that Worthington schools were not cancelled that Monday.  Galasso expressed that he believes “the bigger concern for the officials is the elementary school kids getting to school”, therefore the consideration for inexperienced high school drivers is put on the back burner.  However, he confirmed that Trent Bowers, superintendent, did drive early that morning through the neighborhoods and back roads kids would be using on their drive to school to declare them safe.

Galasso voiced that because of the many complaints of bad driving conditions, he believes that another day similar to that Monday would result in a cancellation.  He also, having known a student driver who was in an accident caused by conditions similar to those of Brittany Erding, stated that “if you can’t drive in snow, you shouldn’t be driving.”

Although simply driving to school no matter the condition could be potentially dangerous, the question of when dangerous roads become too dangerous will always arise during the winter months.  How it is handled will vary, but the unsolvable question will always remain.


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