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Designate who drives to view decorations
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Designate who drives to view decorations

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This week the auto club group AAA shared tips for enjoying holiday lights and decorations. Viewing them from your car is a great way to catch the holiday spirit, but it could be distracting for drivers and possibly pedestrians. “Holiday lights are beautiful to look at, but can also be a dangerous distraction for passing motorists,” said Meredith Mitts, a spokesperson for AAA.

AAA recommends several safety tips for holiday light viewing. If you’re driving, you must be the designated driver. Stay focused on the responsibilities of driving so your passengers can be worry-free as they enjoy the decorations. Designated drivers also must be certain that all passengers are buckled up, and while behind the wheel, the designated driver should constantly scan the road for children, pedestrians and cyclists.

Let a passenger program their phone for navigation, check a map, take photos or do anything that could steal your attention from driving. Don’t come to a complete stop in a traffic lane. If you encounter someone who has stopped, pass only if it is safe and legal to do so.

If walking, wear light colored, reflective clothing to guarantee motorists can see you.

As always, check weather and roadway conditions before leaving. While falling snow may enhance the holiday atmosphere, it also creates additional safety hazards, especially at night. AAA has a list of the winter gear to put in a kit for a roadside emergency. You’ll be relieved to have the kit someday if emergency strikes

Confusing message

Rep. Thomas Massie didn’t do gun rights advocates much good with the Christmas photo he sent this year. The Massie family’s photo shows members holding guns and smiling. Massie is holding what looks to be a military style weapon capable of killing anything in his path.

The problem with the Kentucky congressman’s photo is the way in which it might be interpreted.

Gun rights advocates might view the photo as an expression of support for Americans’ Second Amendment rights; however, others might get a different message. In this season of peace, the image of an elected official posing with a military-style firearm is unsettling to some who view it. Some can’t help but believe the photo’s purpose is to shock, especially because it has appeared just a few days after the most recent mass shooting at a school in Michigan.

Massie should have exhibited a lot more sensitivity.

Yes, he and his family have the right to own firearms and they have free speech rights, but all Americans must remember that freedom comes with responsibility.

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