Pay attention at Crafton’s Gate

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard, seen or read about Charlotte County’s new historic stoplight at Crafton’s Gate at the intersection of U.S. Route 360 and 47.

It’s one we call historic because it’s the first one Charlotte County has ever seen, meaning it’s a big change that motorists will have to get used to.

It’s been said that many have either struggled with complying with the new stoplight or interacting with others at the intersection. Maybe this is because drivers are so used to the previous red and yellow flashing lights instead of the alternating green, yellow and red lights on one signal directing the traffic flow at the busy intersection.

Regardless of why there’s confusion at the intersection, there’s one thing that we can all do to improve our offensive and defensive driving skills when passing through Crafton’s Gate — and that’s paying more attention to the road instead of what’s going on in the vehicle.

Many people use their cell phones and other electronic devices while they drive, whether it involves typing text messages, responding to emails, sharing photos on social media or simply checking the latest weather.

Distracted driving kills people every day. And if you add distracted driving to an intersection that’s seen many accidents with a new stoplight people are evidently confused about, the result can be deadly.

We’re glad the stoplight is at the intersection. We’ve thoroughly reported on the project from when it was first announced to the signals being activated.

Others too have said the signals are needed, and the Virginia Department of Transportation listened. Now, it’s up to us as a community to pay close attention to traffic patterns, including other vehicles, as we proceed through the intersection and follow the direction of the new stoplights.