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Here is a little test. Do you know why car manufacturers put bright, white lights on the back of cars?

A: Because they get more money for the car.

B: Because they look pretty.

C: Because when you can see them light up, you, as a driver or pedestrian, know the driver of that car is backing up.

If you chose “C” you are right! Give yourself a gold star and the next time you see the white lights on the back of a car light up in the parking lot, please have the courtesy to wait for the driver to pull out. It only takes a few seconds and will make you feel good that you practiced automobile courtesy.

And drivers, please do not put your car in “R” until you are ready to back up.

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Parking lot safety is everyone’s responsibility. When I was a child my mother would always take my hand in the parking lot. I hated that because I thought I was a big girl. But Mom and Grandma would always give me the same lecture: “Remember, not all drivers can see as well as you do. Not every person will look before they back up and most cars have a blind spot. Always walk close to the back of the cars so you are not struck by someone driving lickety-split through the lot. Always look out for backup lights, exhaust fumes or movement so you can move out of the way of a moving car. Keep your eyes peeled and be on alert because when steel meets flesh, flesh generally loses.”

The parking lots are full folks. Shortly they will also be slick and sloppy. We are stressed and in a hurry but: Please give each other a little courtesy by watching out for yourself and others.

Karen Reynolds,

Missoula

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