FIGHTING CRIMES OF TRAFFIC
in the daily news, the "death takes an angel" piece only made the sports section. media and government's relative indifference to our streets and highway killing fields helped destroy the life of 22-year-old nick adenhart and two companions when a minivan ran the light and slammed into their sports car. and this drunk driving carnage only received electronic and print coverage because this brooklyn-born, former met player had been playing for the los angeles angels, and that night-his first time out-he pitched six scoreless innings.
these young victims, with so many to mourn them, might have had a chance if they'd been in a heavier car, like the minivan, which broadsided their sports car.
safe cars are an evermore endangered species, thanks in part to the greening movement, which sometimes forgets the "first, do no harm" medical oath.
the 22-year-old driver had a suspended license for a previous drunk-driving offense. crimes of traffic should not be called mere offenses or violations.
speaking of much-needed changes, president barack obama should reduce the speed limit nationwide to save countless lives, reduce injuries and also lower auto emissions and energy use. and in these hard financial times, consider that traffic accidents cost the nation more than $150 billion each year: a cost shared by all taxpayers, whether they drive or not. the far safer mass transit and passenger trains deserve optimal support, not service cutbacks and luxury fares.
this is not my usual mother's day column, but indeed, what mothers forever want most is the safety and well-being of their sons and daughters. mothers against drunk drivers could use more media coverage and should include all crimes of traffic, for which there should be zero tolerance. it's not only mothers, of course, who care and need to take action.
ah, but if only this killing of a 22-year-old irreplaceable son, a gifted baseball player, would prompt the powerful sports world (sports fans!) to make nick adenhart's wrongful death a major and ongoing cause celebre.
as i write, the terrible standoff remains with pirates holding u. s. naval captain richard phillips hostage. worldwide concern and prayers for his safe return and stopping this high-seas terrorism are rightly on the front burner, but the murderous driving on the nation's streets and highways warrants ongoing front-burner attention. the vatican must revive its short-lived media-derided protest against crimes of traffic worldwide.
write related letters to the l.a. times and other media. remember edmund burke's timeless great truth: "all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing."
here's to a mother's day that is not a day of remembrance in a year of forgetting and families in which generations remain vitally connected as we rejoice to see in the white house.
related: queen elizabeth really needs to receive videotapes or dvds of the g-rated, multi-award-winning multi-generational family drama series the waltons. most needed as well is music that celebrates family and friendship. love is always a prime human need, but especially now when these essential devotions are threatened by what author francine du plessix gray warned is the "erotizing, the 'lustualizing' of the culture."
and never forget the show of affection initiated by the first lady for queen elizabeth, which, despite royal protocol, seemed to be endearingly returned.
this column is dedicated to your mother and mine, with love and gratitude always.
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