Wednesday, 26 August 2015 12:14

Motorists: we all need to be smarter and more compassionate while driving

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Having received yet another speeding ticket in the mail this year, I had to sit back and take a long hard look at what I was doing.

Yes, I enjoyed my five years working in Taber, Alta., years ago, but a $154 donation to the community isn’t what I had in mind for gratitude.
When you think about it, a photo radar speeding ticket is a pretty easy trap to fall into. Just being in that slight hurry to get somewhere can net a fine.
The problem is that some of us are always in too much of a hurry to get where we need to be.
Some can turn this into an indictment of our busy lives, job, family or social commitments, but it actually is arrogance on our part.
People are self-centred, thinking we are more important than the next person.
Sure there are those rare occurrences where we need to get somewhere for medical emergencies, but most of the time, it’s a lack of planning in knowing when we have to get to a destination at the appropriate time.
We have to slow down in our general, daily lives and hopefully the motor vehicles will follow.
Slowing down in life means taking the time to actually appreciate and respect those around us and anticipating possible trouble.
School starts next week and we have to watch out for those children who are getting back to class or are going to school for the first time.
There is also a lot of construction as well.
In Alberta, fines are doubled when going through a construction zone, so if a driver is clocked at 100 km/h in a posted 50 km/h zone the fine is $949.
In an area in southwest Alberta on Highways 25 and 519 a driver was caught for going 170 km in a 50-km construction zone. A press release spoke of another incident where a commercial vehicle was being waved over for a speeding violation. The officer was nearly hit by the speeding truck. The driver is facing criminal charges.
In Saskatchewan, July was not a banner month for drivers. According to statistics released by SGI, police recorded 3,5561 manually-enforced speed-related offences in and out of work zones for the month of July, including 142 exceeding posted speed limit by 35 km/h; 48 exceeding posted speed limit by 50 km/h; two driving at least twice the posted speed limit; 17 speeding in a construction zone where a highway worker or flag person is present; 99 passing emergency vehicles at more than 60 km/h and 3,248 other speed-related offences.
Sometimes monetary penalties aren’t enough to stop speeders. I’m not advocating for a criminal record for those who go 10 kilometres an hour over the speed limit on the highway. Would it not just be safer for everyone if we all just realized there are other people out there and to just plan better? You never know when that blowout will occur or a deer runs out onto that highway or that small child comes out from behind that parked car.
Or that photo radar machine is parked behind something you can’t see or react in time. $154 ... yeesh.
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact him with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor