The Glens Falls – Post Star is featuring several stories today regarding the ongoing issue of cellphone coverage on the Adirondack Northway. More specifically the lack of available service along the highway which passes through a remote section of the Adirondack Mountains. Recent interest in the issue was renewed after the death of Alfred Langer who drove off the highway, in the middle-of-the-night, during a storm. He and his wife were trapped in their vehicle for several hours before he died and the lack of cellphone coverage has been blamed.
The brokered agreement between the State, cellphone service providers, and environmental groups seems to have satisfied most everyone involved. Including me. I don’t have a cell phone, and I don’t want to subsidize those that do. Frankly, I don’t want to make it easier for people to drive and talk at the same time.
Better to realize the potential hazards of driving on remote roads. In the “old days”, people would prepare themselves for road trips. Somehow this sense of personal responsibility has been replaced by a reliance on others. Don Lehman describes the enhanced police coverage of the stretch of road known as “the Death Zone” and suggests some safety measures:
Being prepared isn’t just for drivers roaming north to northern Warren, Essex and Clinton counties on the Northway, though. Motorists should always have a satchel full of emergency items in their car for situations when help isn’t readily available, police said.
Such a kit should include a flashlight, matches, extra clothing, rugged footwear, basic tools like pliers and a screwdriver, flares and flags, water, ice scraper, tow rope, funnel and a compass.
I doubt that most people even check their spare “donuts” anymore. To that list I would add – snow shovel, gloves, food, lighter, and first-aid kit.
The Post-Star has also asked reader to submit their experiences with cell phones in the Adirondacks. I’d like to remind everyone that the lack of cell coverage, anywhere in the world, has never caused or prevented any driving accidents. On the contrary, the use of cell phones has.
Update: The Post-Star features two more articles again today: