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Be careful out there. It's getting darker. The dark is coming earlier in the afternoon and lasting until later in the morning.

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News that Ucore Rare Metals is proceeding to the next step in its process toward developing a mine at its Bokan Mountain/Dotson Ridge property on the southeast coast of Prince of Wales Island should be viewed positively — despite coming at a difficult time for the rare earth element mining sector.

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Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Susan Marie Mallott Patrick, 58, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Daniel Edward Hines, 47, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Juneau after a nine-month battle with brain cancer.
7/28/2014
Headlights on

Aaawwh, come on; not another rule to follow.

That's many drivers' first reaction. But, second, upon reflection is: Well, if the new rule will do well in preventing traffic accidents, then OK.

The Alaska Department of Transportation has imposed a rule requiring use of headlights on specific Southeast highways during daylight.

This extends the rule from the highly populated part of the state to rural areas.

The design is to prevent head-on collisions between motor vehicles on two-lane highways.

Fortunately, Ketchikan hasn't had a high number of highway collisions, although it has suffered considerable loss in those that it has had. In recent cases, headlights likely wouldn't have altered the outcome.

But the accidents themselves are enough to convince that the rule should at the very least be given a try. Maybe headlights would be helpful.

The rule will affect North Tongass Highway from about Wolff Point to just before First Waterfall Creek, and South Tongass from Cemetery Road to about 2 miles past Whitman Creek Bridge.

This practice of turning headlights on during daylight hours in addition to nighttime is a national trend that has found its way to Ketchikan and Southeast. Prince of Wales' Klawock-Hollis Highway also is included under the rule.

The federal government has provided $25,000 for implementing the rule, which will involve installing signage along the highways. Local and state authorities would collect about $60 per citation.

The prospect of preventing collisions and savings lives makes this rule worth giving a try — even if it's one more rule. It will be difficult to measure its effectiveness in rural communities compared to highly populated areas, but if it saves one life, it's a rule to welcome.