To the Editor:
Saturday we were driving toward Vineyard Haven at noon, and just past 250 State Road in West Tisbury came upon the young Nip ‘n’ Tuck draft horses cavorting around in a very excitable state alongside and on the road. They had obviously escaped, were snatching grass here and there and were a bit spooked. Several of us stopped, while others either pulled to one side and stopped or got out of their vehicles to help (thanks, Joe and Sarah). The hazard lights were flashing on my truck, and I motioned to several drivers to either slow down or stop, which they did.
However, one bright, young, testosterone-fueled spark in a relatively new, large navy or black pickup actually increased his speed to pass as we attempted to catch the horses who were skittish. As he sped past my totally ignored hand motions, signaling him to stop or slow down, changed instantly to a one-finger gesture.
We did catch the horses, although one was so feisty (and so massive) that I let him gallop off following his friend who was being led back to the farm road and up the dirt road. At that point we gestured to the rest of the backed-up cars to proceed, while fuming at the egregious stupidity of the young man who sped by. If a 1,000-pound draft horse had landed on his hood he would have been in a world of hurt, and so would the horse.
The animal control officer and her assistant (who both turned up shortly after) told us that they are often at the scene of an accident or frightened stray animal, and even the message of flashing lights on top of their vehicle doesn’t seem to penetrate the thick skulls of folks who don’t have the brains of an intelligent cockroach.
It is time for all drivers (particularly those in the service industries who drive trucks and vehicles towing landscaping trailers or heavy equipment) to slow down on our roads. It is an Island — where the hell do you think you are going? Get off your cell phones while driving and respect the rights of animals, pedestrians, bicyclists, in short all those who also might be on the road. Otherwise, you could get a bon voyage salute from me, and it won’t be a friendly wave.
Virginia Crowell Jones