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Your Views Wednesday, April 17

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Proposed WMA legislation should be rejected

The Oklahoma Wildlife Department is probably the only state agency that gets no money from the general revenue fund. The Wildlife Department and its programs are managed by professionals yet there are some in the Legislature who consistently interfere and attempt to, or do, pass legislation for their own or certain individuals’ benefit.

One of the best examples is Senate Bill 566, which would allow paid hunting guides and outfitters to take their clients hunting on wildlife management areas, land that was bought by hunting license fees and meant for the use of individuals. These areas were never intended to be a place for a hunting guide or outfitter to operate. WMAs are the only areas available to hunters without access to private property; guided hunts should never be allowed. Guides with good dogs and several clients each day can soon rid a WMA of quail and pheasant.

One can easily assume that at the least, there are free guided hunting trips coming up for some at the Capitol or this would have never happened. Hopefully the House or the governor will realize that this legislation is bad for the general hunting population and will put an end to it.

Graydon L. Persing, Moore

About bicycles and cars in the city

Regarding bicycle safety in Oklahoma City street lanes: Not all the blame should be on vehicles for the unsafe streets for bicycles and pedestrians. Bicyclers and pedestrians need to make sure they can be seen and they can be aware traffic is near. Go back to the tall orange flag on their bikes so people can see where they are in traffic. Have lights and reflectors big enough to be seen in the dark, wear light-colored clothes and get the ear buds out of their ears.

There cannot be a specific bike lane or a sidewalk everywhere people need to travel. But it doesn’t make a safe bike lane when the city places one on a four-lane main thoroughfare with curbing on both sides. These are high speed limit roads and carry bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Martha Duerksen, Yukon

Campaign aimed at distracted driving

AAA’s new campaign “Don’t Drive Intoxicated — Don’t Drive Intexticated” was created with the goal of making distracted driving just as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving. And why not? The two are comparably dangerous and deadly.

Every day, distracted driving kills an average of nine people and injures 1,000, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It’s the third-leading driver-related cause of crash fatalities, only surpassed by speeding and driving under the influence.

Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that even though 97 percent of drivers say texting/emailing while driving is a serious or very serious threat to their safety, 45 percent admit to having read a text or email while driving — 35 percent admit to having typed one — in the past month.

Decades of public education efforts against alcohol-impaired driving and related efforts have helped reduce by half the number of alcohol-impaired crash fatalities since the 1980s. Similarly, we can make a difference with texting and emailing behind the wheel, too.

It’s critical that we all be responsible drivers and passengers who understand the importance of not driving “intexticated” — or distracted in any way — so that we can all be safer together on the road.

Tom Wiedemann, Cincinnati, Ohio

Wiedemann is CEO of the AAA Club Alliance Inc.

Your View -- Letter to the Editor

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