Essay B: Discuss an issue of local concern. Why is this issue important to you? How do you think it should be addressed?
From the time when I was a toddler lying in my bouncy chair, to when I got behind the wheel of a car, the words “safety first” were always the first my parents said to me. As far back as I can remember I applied these words to everything I ever did. From looking both ways before crossing the street, to putting band-aids on my torn teddy bear, safety was always applied. Whenever I venture out to do anything I nearly always consider a worst case scenario and contemplate what safety precautions to take (You could say that I’m not a fan of amusement parks). So when it comes to a local concern, safety is my number one. The local concerns of safety that I feel affect everyone on a daily basis involves road safety. Michigan potholes are already some of the worst, and are only getting worse as time passes by. Potholes are notoriously known to cause an endless list of damages to cars including flat tires, steering system misalignment, suspension damage, fluid leaks, and undercarriage damage. Under no circumstances should these issues be taken lightly, as cars are quite an expensive commodity that people work very hard to pay-off. A more serious consequence are the four hundred fatalities per year caused by our poor road conditions. These are issues which I feel can easily be avoided if proper funding for the Michigan Department of Transportation, or MDOT, is allotted. However, in 2008 the MDOT’s road and bridge program reported an eighteen percent drop in budget. This means that Michigan roads will continue to worsen unless we take action. Currently, Michigan imposes a nineteen cent tax per each gallon of gasoline that was established in 1997, which with the changing economy is now only worth eleven cents. Though any additional fee added to gasoline prices may seem completely out of the question for most consumers, I think that it is important to understand that Michigan is tied with having the lowest gas tax in our neighboring states. If Ohio’s population is able to survive with a gas tax of twenty-eight cents, I think that people of Michigan will be able to handle a slight increase to this tax to get us back to the original worth of the nineteen cent gas tax established in 1997. The benefits of safer roads will certainly outweigh the additional costs. With the upcoming elections, I feel that an increase in gas tax is something that should be proposed by candidates of all parties. Not only will roads be safer for everyone to drive on, but the economy in a sense will be safer too. A study by the University of Michigan concluded that 12,255 jobs by 2009 will be lost due to declining dollars being spent on MDOT’s plans. Fixing roads will also save jobs. We need to come together and pay our share at the pump to better the safety of our well-being, automobiles, and Michigan jobs. Road safety is too important to be overlooked, and should be as important as a concern for everyone as it is to me.