Letter to the Editor

Winter weather warnings

Monday, March 4, 2019

The advice of Trooper Vince Kurtz is frequently found in the SDR when severe winter weather is the subject of the day. This past February is a good example. Couple that with winter weather advisories, storm warnings, blizzard conditions in effect, and other ways of alerting the motoring public that travel is not advised, and you have a clear and convincing argument for staying off the roadways for most people. Not the case during several recent events, according to recently compiled statistics.

State troopers and other Iowa DOT personnel have been putting their lives on the line for us during the course of many decades. They warn, cite, rescue, save, protect and serve as a first line of defense, too often against those who seem to march to a different drummer. The numbers of recent highway rescues of motorists stranded in blizzard conditions is alarming. The most disturbing aspect seems to be that perhaps up to 30 percent of the calls for assistance could have been avoided, had the affected motorist heeded the State Patrol's often-repeated advice to "stay home." When the weather and road conditions aren't safe for man or beast, they let us know.

What is it about folks who admittedly were out in the middle of the terrible weather we've experienced statewide "to check out whether the conditions really were that bad." They found out. Yes, they were that bad, just as advertised. Guess some people just can't take the word of those patrolling the highways; they'd rather get out in it and see for themselves. Great, just great. C'mon people, heed legitimate warnings. They're for your safety. Heaven knows you're not thinking too much about it. What will it take?

Bill Kersting, Spencer