At 6 a.m. on Saturday on the C.B.S. Bypass Road, you’re probably at least aware that there might be moose coming up towards the road through the brush.
You might be thinking about the way they blend so well into the terrain, and how quickly at full trot they can barrel up onto the road.
Maybe you’ve got an early weekend shift to get to — maybe you’re heading towards the Trans-Canada and a favourite fishing hole just waiting for you to cast a fly.
At four o’clock Saturday afternoon in Paradise, maybe you’re gearing up for the food fishery — the boat’s on the trailer, the life-jackets are in the back of the car, and in your imagination, there’s already fresh cod in the frying pan for a late supper, a cold beer on the table.
By one in the morning on Sunday, you could be making your way home on foot from downtown along a west-end St. John’s sidewalk, your ears a little worse for wear from listening to some late-night performers at a city club — minding your own business, one foot in front of the other, next to no cares in the world.
Unaware that, in all three cases, you might have been facing the very same danger.
What danger, in an area as relatively safe as the Northest Avalon?
Well, if it was this weekend, you could have been the victim of one of several drunk drivers.
In the jargon of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary’s weekend police report, it’s all boilerplate.
“6:05 a.m. — RNC patrol officers responded to a single vehicle collision on the C.B.S. Bypass Road near Kelligrews. A 54-year-old male was transported to the Health Sciences Centre for undetermined but non-life threatening injuries. He was subsequently charged with impaired driving, refusal of the blood demand and driving while suspended under the Highway Traffic Act. He was released to appear in court at a later date. The accused was the only occupant of the vehicle at the time of the collision.
“3:52 p.m. — RNC patrol officers responded to a report from a concerned citizen that a possible impaired driver was operating in the area of a business in Paradise. As police arrived on the scene, the male driver left the area in the vehicle and initiated a short pursuit with the officer. In the interest of public safety, the pursuit was terminated immediately. Within minutes the vehicle was located and the driver was arrested. He was subsequently charged for impaired driving, failing the breathalyzer, driving while disqualified and flight from police. He was issued a number of summary offence tickets for additional violations under the highway traffic act. The accused vehicle was impounded and the accused is being held for court in the morning.
“1:02 a.m. — RNC patrol officers responded to a report of a possible impaired driver in the west end of St. John’s. A 24-year-old male was subsequently charged with impaired driving and over 80 mg (failing the breathalyzer). He was released to appear in court at a later date.”
These are all horrible accidents that didn’t happen but might have — as much a matter of chance as avoiding that moose.
Last week, we reported on a driver who was in court to deal with 12 charges of driving while disqualified and five impaired driving charges.
The message just doesn’t seem to be getting out.