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I am afraid for the residents of La Plata. It is not because of natural disasters, Walmart or even rising gas prices, but something much worse. People are driving without brakes in their cars.

It is not uncommon to see cars swerve around pedestrians in crosswalks or speed past those with orange flags. A woman in a minivan April 14 was unable to stop for my 8-month-old daughter as my wife and I pushed her in her stroller across Charles Street while in the crosswalk.

Luckily, the woman’s reactions were lightning-fast and she was able to speed up and maneuver around us. I raised my arms, and the other cars that had stopped were honking to let her know that she was missing her brakes. But I am not sure she heard us.

As a concerned resident, I am calling out to all Southern Maryland drivers, who with the summer driving months just around the corner, cannot afford to be driving around without brakes.

I truly enjoy living in town and having the ability to walk with my family to the farmers market, parks and businesses, but I should not have to fear for our safety.

As a community, we need to do a better job of respecting pedestrians.

With the weather improving there are more children and adults walking through town. We need to slow down and stop so they can cross safely.

Kevin D. Barry, La Plata