Originally Published: July 31, 2018 3:18 p.m.
Instead of enjoying peaceful crickets chattering, the summer wind blowing through local trees or a distant monsoon storm lighting up the sky only to hear thunder seconds later, residents in my Prescott Valley neighborhood are often treated to the soothing sounds of a racetrack.
And no, I don’t mean Arizona Downs just down the road. Live racing hasn’t started as of yet, and last I checked, a race horse doesn’t sound like the out-of-control whir sound an electric metal fan would make, or in this case, a souped-up Honda Civic attempting to drift around the corner stop sign.
And, I’m all for a nice Harley motorcycle, but what’s the purpose of pushing it full throttle down the street like a bat out of H-E-double hockey sticks?
You may be thinking right now, “Boy, he sounds like a curmudgeon.”
I don’t want to interrupt anyone’s fun, but for safety sake, I plead with local drivers to slow down! Forgive me, but I have two children who like to play in our front yard in a neighborhood full of children that also like to play outside. Do we really need a tragedy to change?
And if you think something bad can’t happen, think again.
Last year, my neighbor across the street was woken up by my loud knocks at his door after midnight. He came out to his SUV sitting in a ditch with the entire back end of it smashed in. His car sat about 10 feet in front of where he originally parked it.
The wife and I happened to be up that night, and all we heard was the loud screech of tires on the road and BAM! It was so loud I thought the driver had just plowed into my truck sitting in our driveway.
After running outside, all I saw was the distant red tail lights speeding down our street with a trail of engine fluid and coolant following closely behind him. He didn’t make it far, police said, bailing out after the car engine seized about two blocks down the road.
They never caught the guy, my neighbor told me six months later.
Another time, while with my wife and kids home using Manley Drive going about 25 mph, a driver who was tailing me for several blocks finally had enough, sped up and passed me.
He passed me! On an unmarked street, mind you, with no passing lanes, or lanes at all for that matter. Maybe driving the speed limit was interrupting the impatient driver’s ability to catch a movie on time?
What if there were children playing in the street? What if someone quickly backed out of their driveway only to get creamed by someone going 50 mph to pass us?
There have been several other instances of road rage, or road racing, too many to count. Among a few letters to the editor I’ve read in recent months about the dragstrip that is Manley Drive in Prescott Valley, the pathway that connects Robert Road and Glassford Hill, one stood out.
This reader called Manley Drive a “drag strip” with cars traveling 40 to 50 mph in a 25 speed zone and has noticed little police presence in the area.
Lastly, our photo editor Les Stukenberg caught a picture of someone’s large street art, which read “SPEED LIMIT 25” written out in red chalk.
I guess others have taken notice to the problem, I can only hope the police will too.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.