Tahlequah Daily Press


February 5, 2014

When there’s ice on the road, slow down – and stay home if you can

TAHLEQUAH — It may be a couple more months before reliably decent weather returns to Cherokee County, and for many of us, it can’t happen soon enough.

But since we have no control over Mother Nature, the best we can do is adjust our schedules and habits to conform to its quirks. That means when ice and snow are on the streets and highways as they’ve been this week, drivers have to slow down, keep an eye on fellow travelers, and make sure their vehicles are equipped to handle the hazard.

Historically, Oklahoma drivers have logged some of the worst records in the nation. This means we often pay higher premiums than residents of other states. It’s not because we’re stupid or especially aggressive on the roads, but some of us do tend to overestimate our ability to handle inclement weather conditions, and therefore we drive too fast. We also tend to tailgate.

That’s not the only trouble. Our streets and highways aren’t in as good a condition as those in some other states that typically get ice and snow, and our smaller cities don’t have the equipment to adequately clear the streets. Since most of our winters are mild, and many of us have modest incomes, we tend to delay buying new tires even when the ones we have are nearly bald. And we no longer have to submit to annual vehicle inspections, which means some of our vehicles are in disrepair.

But we owe it to ourselves, and our fellow Cherokee Countians, to take extra precautions on the road – especially during a winter like this one, which is bringing us more ice and snow than we typically have. The street and highway departments can only do so much; the rest is up to us.

Keep your vehicles and tires in good condition, even if you have to eat ramen noodles for a while to afford it. Make sure your insurance is paid in full, and it’s a good idea to have uninsured motorist coverage. Keep blankets, a flashlight, a first aid kit and maybe even some snacks in your vehicle, in case you break down and get stranded.

Leave early if you have somewhere to go – and if you don’t, stay home. Slow down, and drive defensively. Begin braking well before you think you have to. If you start skidding, turn your steering wheel into the slide. Make sure your kids understand crossing the street requires extra vigilance.

Yes, it’s inconvenient, and maybe more expensive. But remember, even a fender-bender can give your insurance company an excuse to send your premiums sky-high. Worse yet, you could lose your life, or take someone else’s. Impatience and carelessness just aren’t worth the price you may pay.

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  • As education, good jobs falter, violent crime rate will go up

    As April winds down, and with it Child Abuse Prevention Month, it’s worth again noting that the rate of violence in Oklahoma has been creeping up in recent years. And it’s time for our state’s top leaders – who wear blinders when it comes to anything negative – to discuss what we’re going to do about it.
    Late last year, the FBI listed Oklahoma as the 10th most dangerous state in the union, based on statistics from 2012. Violent crimes are rape, murder, robbery and aggravated assault. Some Okies might find it a bit disconcerting to learn that our state ranked above California and New York in this data. Topping the list was Tennessee, followed by Nevada, Alaska, New Mexico, South Carolina, Delaware, Louisiana, Florida and Maryland.

    April 23, 2014

  • Ban on wage hikes by municipalities a mark of hypocrisy

    The words “God” and “governor” may share the same first two letters, but the two are hardly interchangeable.
    But let’s assume Gov. Mary Fallin really isn’t deluded enough to place her powers on the level of a deity. What rationale would a woman who has championed smaller government and local control use to explain her hypocrisy in banning individual Oklahoma cities from raising minimum wages in their jurisdictions?

    April 18, 2014

  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

  • Attack at school in Pennsylvania: Mental illness root of problem

    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014


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