Traffic checkpoints save lives

Published 4:27 pm Monday, September 22, 2008

A simple inconvenience can help save lives.

While many motorists grumble when it comes to having to stop for a traffic safety checkpoint, the bottom line is that those law enforcement officers are performing the task at hand in an effort to ensure motorists arrive alive to their destination.

In other words, they are the ones who sacrifice time away from their families to stand in the middle of the road on a dark, cool night. They are there to ensure your safety against those who choose to consume alcohol or take illegal drugs and then attempt to operate a motor vehicle.

For the majority of the drivers seen passing through the Ahoskie checking station late Friday night and early Saturday morning, their “inconvenience” was limited to less than 30 seconds each…just long enough for the law enforcement officers on hand to check their license and registration. From there it was a tip of the hat and “have a nice night” response from the officers as they sent the drivers on their way.

But what if that driver had been consuming alcohol or was under the influence of drugs? What if, due to losing the keen sense to safely operate a vehicle, that driver plowed into a carload of innocent people? What if lives were lost or serious injury occurred because of that incident? How long does that “inconvenience” last? Forever.

There’s a very simple lesson to learn here and it doesn’t carry moral implications if a person does choose to consume alcohol. Those opting to do so can save their life and those of total strangers by acting responsibly and having someone sober drive them home or by simply remaining where they are until they are sober.

That’s a “convenience” we all can live with.