Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Eric Diamond

This is in response to Steve Kovak’s letter “3 seconds you’re dead.” Steve: Look at your own driving habits and make a serious effort to change them. You can make the road safer for everybody, including yourself, if you practice proper driving etiquette. Use your mirrors and windows to keep track of what is going on around you. You are not the only driver out there, and it is your responsibility to know the rules of the road and to follow them. Maybe you never learned them, or maybe you don’t care. Here is the rule you are breaking: The left lane is for passing. If somebody in the left or right lane is approaching from behind, at a higher rate of speed, do the right thing. Put your blinker on and get into the right lane and let them pass, legally, on the left of you. Watch your mirrors, and think about what you see in them. They let you know what’s happening behind you, an important aspect of sharing the road with others. Again, you are not the only driver on the road. Your driving habits are what is causing people around you to pass on the right and jam on the brakes in anger. There is no good excuse for doing that sort of thing, and you are right: It’s not worth dying to try to make a point, but please understand why it happened. Be a courteous driver, and you will get treated likewise.For the past few years, I’ve thought that traffic has gotten heavy enough on I-70 to warrant a truck ban for the left lane from the west Vail exit to the Wm. J. Post exit in both directions. I see many, many truckers pull into Dowd Junction at the speed of traffic in the left lane and then, due to the curves and grades, are unable to maintain that speed, creating a rolling roadblock for every other driver behind them. The fact is this situation causes a percentage of the “road-blocked” drivers to get angry, aggressive and do unsafe things (pass on the right, tailgate, weave through tight traffic, etc.). I’ve seen it over and over, and much more frequently in these past few years. It is a dangerous and frustrating situation instigated by big trucks, and then amplified by impatient drivers willing to take a risk. I really think putting up some “no trucks in left lane'” signs through Dowd will help ease the car-truck conflicts and resulting road rage in that area and create a safer situation for everybody. Eric DiamondBeyond a choiceI was disappointed in both of the articles that were published Sept. 17 in the Vail Daily regarding the proposed smoking ban in Eagle County. I had hoped that informative, accurate reporting on this important public health issue would occur. The public needs information on the health effects of passive smoking and relevant statistics on communities that have enacted similar legislation. Instead, what we got was the same old opinion polls with quotes from various stakeholders on the issues.Tobacco is a threat to smokers and non-smokers alike. While no one is suggesting that adults should not have the right to smoke in their own space, non-smokers must be protected from the carcinogens emitted from tobacco smoke. Research has shown that second-hand smoke causes cancer of the lung and is indicated in a variety of other cancers including cancer of the cervix. People who do not smoke but who are exposed to smoke are much more likely to suffer heart attacks and develop emphysema as well as many other respiratory conditions. Children and pregnant women are especially at risk.The question is whether or not the citizens of Eagle County have adequate information to understand the benefits of enacting a ban on smoking in all public spaces. This is not a matter of “choice” or government intruding into our lives. It is a matter of protecting the health and well being of all our citizens and there is an important role for government here. Similar to laws requiring seat belts, or preventing companies from dumping toxic waste into our water supplies, protecting the public from second hand smoke is critical to us all. For more information on the issue, … contact The American Heart Association, The American Lung Association or the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance.Carol Betson-GoldsteinVailVail, Colorado