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Time to be careful when driving

And they’re off … Driving around downtown over the next few weeks will be reminiscent of the start of a horse race.

The bell rings, the starting gates fling open and all the jockeys maneuver for position.

Lots of bumping and pushing ensues.

Racing horses can be dangerous, but when the “horse” you’re riding is really a two-ton SUV hurtling down unfamiliar one-way streets, everyone is at risk.

It’s Pilgrimage season in Natchez and that means it’s time for everyone — and we mean everyone — to put on their best defensive driving hats and drive carefully.

Lots of tourists will be in town over the next several weeks. We all know that traveling in a foreign area is stressful anytime, but throw in the complexity of having to traverse a grid of one-way streets downtown and the stress level cranks up a few gears.

That of course, doesn’t take into account the back-and-forth left and right merging required of a motorist making his way down Canal Street.

Let’s not talk about the complicated intersection near Natchez Regional Medical Center.

Tour guides might as well issue crash helmets along with maps at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center. (We’re joking there, mostly).

But all of us who know how to pronounce “Homochitto” need to be on the lookout for visitors who may be directionally challenged, lost or just confused by our maze of streets.

Be safe, patient and most of all, drive on the defensive.