EDITORIAL: Road safety begins with drivers
West Van traffic cop Cpl. Grant Gottgetreu routinely witnesses bone-headed driving behaviour.
On his way to be photographed for the cover of this week’s Outlook (see story page 10) he was late because he had to pull over and ticket a driver who was tailgating him and flashing his high-beams on a dark, rain-soaked stretch of the Upper Levels Highway.
That makes him angry, especially considering the fact his unmarked cruiser has an impossible-to-miss green “N” decal on the back.
A veteran of the traffic section, Gottgereu started sporting the green sticker on his unmarked cruiser years ago because he found other drivers became more aggressive around him figuring he was a newbie behind the wheel.
He bristles when discussing that type of road bullying.
But it’s not the only type of bad driving behaviour that he tries to keep up with each shift.
One time, when he was riding his motorcycle to work he was passed by a stunt-performing rider who was sitting on the windshield of his bike as he steered.
Gottgetreu was so outraged by the rider’s actions that he took down the his licence plate number, got to work, put on his uniform and then went to deliver him a ticket.
On shift, he also regularly sees red-light runners, cases of road rage, reckless passing on the shoulder of the road, and his personal nemesis — excessive speeders — to name a few.
Last year he wrote up nearly 1,500 tickets.
His counterpart in North Van, RCMP Const. Jas Dosanjh, also goes above and beyond the call of duty to clean up the streets by focusing primarily on impaired drivers.
And while both officers are at the top of their game, they can’t be everywhere.
That’s why they need help from the public — both by being extra eyes and ears on the roadways and also by obeying the rules of the road themselves.