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Know the West

The violence of the open road


If you stand near the highway and listen to the trucks rip past at 85 to 90 miles per hour, you should be disturbed (HCN, 8/22/11). These speeds and the vehicle weights are lethal. The violence here is profound, and yet it has become normalized. It is absurd what we sacrifice for mobility: air, water, land, wildlife, climate, our health, wealth and future. Where are we going in these giant luxury trucks? Motoring in comfort across abused land, shattered bodies from coast to coast, and a ruined future. As we drive, we miss almost everything on the way; we disregard and disconnect. I have read estimates that 1 million animals are killed on roads every day. That number is likely higher in spring when the youngsters climb out of their burrows and nests. The slaughter on our roads is an obscenity in every definition of the word.

Charles Fox
Santa Fe, New Mexico