- January 22, 2013 - 11:57
Based on the snapshot form the news, I'd bet that an alarmingly high proportion of people behind the wheel across Newfoundland at any time are loaded drunk...not much point worrying about driver skill or education if you can't even convince them to sober up first. But hey, those darn moose...!
- January 22, 2013 - 11:35
Every police who is worth their paycheck will tell you that their enforcement is the LAST MEASURE to help "make the streets less mean" as you've put it. Your solution doesn't do anything. Statistics from England have shown no real benefits of photo radar. One year accidents in photo radar zones are down, another year they're up. They have no impact other then further lining the pockets of the government (ticket income) and insurance companies (raised premiums). Secondly, speed, which photo radar enforces, is not the problem. It's lack of driving education and appreciation. Statistically there are more accidents causing over $1000 in damage or severe bodily injury from people failing to indicate then there are for those "speeding". Running stop signs, improper lane changes (such as people turning left and veering into the right hand lane at an intersection and hitting someone) also are responsible for more accidents then speed. None of which more enforcement will properly combat. Speed is subjective. Maybe it's pouring down rain on the highway. In your opinion, your max speed might be 70km/h. That's all you feel you can do. Someone "blows" past you doing 100km/h, the speed limit, and you judge them. "Geez, buddy's gonna be dead soon" you'll probably say to yourself. Meanwhile, you're the one driving a car that wouldn't pass an inspection and tires as bald as an eagle. All because of lack of driver education and appreciation. You're the one most likely to be in an accident. Photo radar IS NEVER the answer, education is. In your story, you even say as much -- counter to your overall point of more enforcement. You visited Alberta where both radar detectors are LEGAL (unlike here btw) and photo radar exists. You say how everyone is "very aware of their responsibilities when behind the wheel". You have a disconnect here. More traffic enforcement doesn't educate people. People don't learn right and wrong by being punished for it, they learn it by being taught and not simply being given a license after having a permit for 12 months and passing a rather simple driving test. Why not make young drivers mandatory and install varied license levels. You would need to pass separate tests in order to drive on low roads but also high roads, such as the ORR and TCH. If you don't pass your high road test, you do not have a permit to drive on the highways. Of note, Newfoundland is one of the few places that doesn't have a skid pad to teach young drivers the perils of driving in the wet. THIS training would prevent thousands of accidents and deaths. Most NL drivers get their license and drive in the wet for the first time on cars with poor maintenance history and no wet training. No understanding of what it truly feels like to hydroplane. Sure some will argue with these additional levels they need to pass to get their full license, but if they have such a problem passing those tests and getting through Young Drivers, they shouldn't be on the road. Oh... and why doesn't the RNC ever put a man or woman, plain clothes, on a corner downtown watching people on their cell phone as they drive by and radioing ahead to marked cars to pull them over and give them tickets? You want to stop cell phone usage in cars, that's how you do it. Guess it's a lot easier to put a single car on the ORR for 20 minutes and scoop up as many customers as they can then it is to run a proper operation involving several men and women.