Our View: Be mindful on state highways
July 19, 2023
With my residence directly off a state highway, I’m aware that there will always be more traffic in the summer months, especially from Friday to Sunday.
Montana is such a beautiful place, and I understand Treasure State residents and out-of-state tourists increase the traffic on the road on their camping, or some other recreation, or to visit friends and family. One thing I don’t understand is the way some people choose to drive.
While the speed limit on the highway I live off is usually 70, I live in a 45 zone. I generally see people going that speed only if they live near me or it is a tractor. Sometimes, I can sit in my front yard and swear that some people are going well over 80 and some are pushing 100. It’s 45 for a reason, and I can’t comprehend why that is so hard for others to comprehend.
The other day, someone passed me as I attempted to make a left-hand turn off the highway into my driveway. They nearly hit me. This is not a rare occurrence. If it is not this, it is someone who nearly hits me from behind while I am getting ready to turn because they are not paying attention.
It is different comparing living off a highway to a residential neighborhood, but I can’t imagine someone would be too pleased if someone were going 50 miles per hour in a 25.
People in rural places live off of highways and deserve respect for their homes and the corresponding zones.
It is well past time for people driving through where the speed limit has dropped on a highway to start slowing down. For local residents who don’t slow down, shame on you. For out-of-state tourists who do it, be better. Montana isn’t a fast-paced, horn-honking, dangerously passing people type of place. If you can’t drive near 45 in a 45 with obvious houses off the road, stay home and explore your own state.
I didn’t realize how big of a problem this was until I moved into my house four years ago, but I see it daily. It is even worse down the road when it drops from 45 to 30 for a school zone. I also get nervous every morning when my daughter waits for the school bus.
I have had so many close calls since moving here by simply trying to enter or exit my driveway, none of which were my fault.
Just because it’s not a residential 25-mile-per-hour zone doesn’t mean people should ignore it when the speed limit drops.
This just doesn’t happen on my road, it’s all over Montana, and people need to do better. I see people speeding all the time as they are leaving Three Forks to get on the Interstate.
Unless you are an emergency responder, there isn’t any reason to be speeding excessively when the speed drops on a highway.