Safety takes the cake

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By The Gazette

One eatery recently taken into Hillsville by annexation brought town officials cakes and pies to celebrate the change and handed out meal cards as a token of appreciation.
The visit to Hillsville Town Council’s July 11 meeting must have been a refreshing attitude for town officials.
While annexation efforts often face stiff opposition from those who basically don’t want to pay extra taxes, that doesn’t seem to have become an issue in Hillsville expanding its town boundaries west of Interstate 77’s Exit 14.
Several positives from annexation come to mind for the town’s new square mile — such as economic growth for Hillsville and garbage pickup.
One consideration to the restauranteur for toasting inclusion within the town boundaries stemmed from increased patrols that now go on in front of the business.
That’s a good attitude to take.
Anyone who’s familiar with the Interstate 77 and U.S. 58 interchange would know that it’s fraught with safety problems from heavy traffic, speeding, vehicles slowing to turn into businesses, exit lanes merging, big trucks rolling through, and inattentive drivers.
These factors result in daily annoyances, a number of fender benders and the occasional full-blown collision.
Hillsville police quickly stepped up patrols and brought in the speed trailer radar device to slow drivers down.
Easing up on the gas is something that motorists should have enough sense to do anyway when approaching such an active section of roadway.
Of course, more enforcement will lead to a bunch of sour grapes reactions from those who find themselves on the business end of the radar.
The right perspective involves consideration of the community benefits.
A road with fewer accidents should result in fewer injuries, less money out of pocket to pay for vehicle repairs, fewer calls to rescue and fire volunteers, more ease of travel and more peace of mind.
Improving the interchange won’t be a piece of cake, but we definitely shouldn’t pan the officers for carrying out their sworn duty.