I'm sure by now you've heard:
On Friday afternoon Mayor Bob Correia got into a little fender-bender at the intersection of Davol St. and Central. The police cited the Mayor for being at fault.
It seems almost everywhere I went yesterday I heard some sort of mention of this, usually followed up with the joke "I guess he needs that driver."
The Herald News comment board has run amok with readers who are having fun taking pot shots at the Mayor.
The reason I feel bad for Bob is that intersection is horrible! I hardly ever attempt to take a left there. Usually I use the right hand lane and go straight, that way I have a better view of the northbound traffic on Davol Street and more time to react. It was a minor accident that could easily have happened to anyone, yet now this is the benchmark for the Mayor's competency and fitness to lead.
It was a minor car accident!
Now the Mayor does sound like he's getting a little defensive about this. I'm not surprised, getting into a car accident and having to hear jabs about your age and mental state can't be fun. He is also being accused of changing his story which I'm not sure I believe.
A Herald News article reported that the Mayor told police he was turning left, the Mayor later said in a news interview he was going straight. The Mayor's spokesperson reported he didn't see the driver, the Mayor is quoted as saying the driving at a high rate of speed. Let's not make a conspiracy theory out of this. He didn't see the driver, Kyra Cabral, until after he pulled into the intersection and then judged that she was driving too fast. Her speed is simply his opinion, and I think most of us, being shocked at seeing a vehicle about to hit you, that you didn't see just a moment before would say something similar. In fact I was at that intersection just a few weeks ago and commented to my passenger that there should be a 4-way intersection there. It really is THAT tough to see someone coming when you're in that left lane. After all this is the 5th most dangerous intersection in Fall River. However, the Mayor incorrectly called it the 5th most dangerous in the state but it is actually the 19th. Was Bob lying or did he just misspeak? How many thousands of intersections are there in Massachusetts? Isn't 19th bad enough? Why would he feel the need to lie about it? Where would be the benefit? I chalk this one up to just a slip of the tongue. Was he taking a left or going straight? Kyra said he was turning, and the paper said that is what the Mayor told the police, the Mayor was never quoted as saying that. Couldn't the Herald News be wrong, or couldn't the officer have misspoken? Looking at the photos of the Mayor's car it doesn't look like he was in the middle of a turn. The Mayor, in an interview, says he was going straight. I don't see any reason to doubt him, nor do I see how it would make much of a difference.
Lefty's View: Mr Mayor take my advice, when asked simply reply: "It is a tough intersection and I stopped but I didn't see her coming and it's my fault." Hopefully that will get people focusing on how you're running the city vs. how you drive. If it doesn't we may have to set up a drivers test for all the candidates for Mayor.