U.S. Route 12 from Townsend to Three Forks is a winter-time death trap, an accident occurring too often.

I had occasion to drive round-trip to Bozeman last Friday, Nov. 3. Conditions were bad. I was driving 45 mph both ways on the stretch of road from Townsend to Three Forks. On the return trip, about two miles south of the overpass at Toston, where the highway divides into passing lanes, there was a group of about eight cars headed north and stretching for about a half mile. I became aware that there were three lanes of traffic being occupied, with a lone car on the inner most lane, but keeping up with the others in the group. The dry light snow, being about three inches deep and blowing about, was presenting challenges, again at 45 mph, for driving with a lot of caution in a group. (There is always someone on that road wanting to pass you.)

The problem appears to be that with the width of the highway on those intermittent passing lanes, some drivers think they are in a driving lane, when they are not. The yellow stripes are obliterated and drivers less than acquainted with that highway use the inner area as a driving lane. I thought to myself "Someone is going to get killed on this road with these winter conditions hiding the yellow stripes." And then I read in the Monday paper, just such an event has happened.

Tom Erdie

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Helena

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