Letter: Deer population is a good reason slow down

Editor,

The editorial of Dec. 12 bemoans slow drivers on Whidbey Island, including those driving “slightly under the speed limit.” You claim that this is illegal, as it impedes the “normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation.” Your argument ignores a basic fact of life on Whidbey Island — our huge deer population. At any moment a deer can jump in front of your car with no time for the driver to react.

Tonight we saw 10 deer in the space of half a mile, several right by the side of the road and impossible to spot from a distance. Reduced speed on Whidbey, especially at dawn and dusk and at night, is indeed necessary for safe operation of your vehicle on many roads. It is not from fear or hesitation as your editorial suggests, or from either youth or age. Reduced speed, watching for deer and keeping yourself, your passengers and your car safe is a prudent and mature way to drive on our island. Ask anyone who has hit a deer.

You might also want to check your grammar style manual before publication. “Slow drivers” is correct usage. “Drive slow” is not. That should be “drive slowly,” as adverbs modify verbs. So drive slowly and prudently on Whidbey. As an old Spanish proverb says, “What’s a few moments in the face of eternity?”

Marcie Bovetz

Freeland

Editor’s note: Either “slow” or “slowly” is correct in the sentence, according to Merriam-Webster. The misunderstanding about the usage is included in Gizmodo’s “Ten Grammar Mistakes People Love To Correct (That Aren’t Actually Wrong).”

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