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Make America great again! That is what I am reading on a lot of signs and flags when traveling through Wilson County. So, why not start making America great along C.R. 307 and C.R. 319?
As you may have seen, littering has increased significantly. Tires, carpets, vape pens, syringes, construction material, food containers, but mostly empty beer cans and bottles. Not sure which the latter is: DUI, open container, or just littering? Speeding has increased notably, and the abandoning of animals has become a massive strain on the residents who feel the need to do the right thing and take the animals in or try to find a place in a no kill shelter or foster home — more often than not, without success.
Not being a legal expert, I do think that all of the deeds mentioned above are violating some code or law and are posing a road safety issue, possibly also a public health issue. Unfortunately, no significant mitigation measures have been noted over the past 12 months. I hope there is no picking and choosing of which codes or laws are enforced and on which officials turn a blind eye.
I strongly believe that these issues can only be countered in a common, multi-jurisdictional, and multi-disciplinary approach. The legislative groundwork is laid — posting and deterrence are needed. The executive is aware of the issue but operates with conventional means, which they are lacking. The few patrols available to the sheriff for the entire county cannot possibly manage the problem, even if state troopers or other law enforcement agencies are supporting. A more innovative approach is advisable, such as CCTV and speed-measuring boxes.
Commercial and government enterprises may be a win-win situation, as the companies may want to keep their employees safe when operating on these roads and may be willing to support funding for additional mitigating measures, or even the no kill animal shelter. The judicative is basically out of a job here because if the executive can’t deliver the perpetrators, the judge can’t convict them.
As community engagement is only high on the list during campaigning, however, it is up to the residents themselves to make these issues the priority of their elected representatives, hold them accountable, remind them of their election campaign promises, and encourage them to support community needs.
That would be a good start to make America great again!
NIKOLAUS DE SILVA