COLUMN: An idea that shouldn’t be stored away

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On one of those bad weather days last week, keeping me from yard work, it was decided that an upstairs closet needed a “spring cleaning.”

It was determined, thanks to a shoebox full of stuff, the last cleaning was perhaps many springs ago since the last addition to that box was dated 2001.

Among the receipts, kept for no good reason it seems, were some quite remarkable items – a picture of me at not yet three playing with a train set, other long forgotten photos, assorted keys and so on. There was even an un-cashed cheque for $25 dated 1998, given to me for reasons long forgotten.

Due to an accumulation of close to $2 in pennies, it was apparent that the box contents formerly reposed in a drawer that was the subject of a prior cleaning order more than a dozen years ago.

Also scattered among the treasures and the junk were a number of business cards – some from MLAs and constituency assistants long gone, others representing businesses and acquaintances of more than a decade ago.

One of those cards stood out, not for what it represented back in the late 1990s, but for whose name was on it. For a number of years in that decade I spent time in Victoria, and one of the youngsters I briefly worked with was Todd Stone. I assume that sometime between his departure and mine from the Legislature precincts we must have again crossed paths, and thus the business card declaring Todd G. Stone, Principal, Titan Information Solutions.

I don’t know if the business is still active, couldn’t find it through Google, but Todd certainly is, having now returned to the Legislature as B.C.’s Minister of Transportation.

One of his first decisions as a new minister was to consider raising the speed limits on our rural highways – something I support and wrote about a number of columns ago.

Our highways are, for the most part, built to standards that can accommodate much greater speed, particularly those designated “freeway” or the less travelled northern routes that are now often restricted to 80 or 90 km/h.

Of course, raising the limits doesn’t necessarily mean that all drivers are competent to handle them, and a “survival of the fittest” attitude is not something that needs to emerge.

However, most experienced drivers and all late model vehicles are more than capable of increased road speeds.

Certainly driving the freeway between Abbotsford and Vancouver demonstrates that 90 per cent of drivers consider 100 km/h as slow.

That said, there are those who, once you get to the HOV lanes, don’t quite get it.

The HOV lanes are there to essentially speed traffic, especially during congested times, so long as you have two or more people in the vehicle.

What gets me are those drivers who seem to think that just because there are two of them in the car, they are entitled to use the HOV regardless of speed, dawdling along at 75 or 80 km/h when all other traffic is zipping by.

So minister, while you are contemplating increased speed limits, you might also consider posting signs on the HOV lanes that simply state “Maintain posted speed, or move over!”

If nothing else, they might diminish the development of road rage, and/or the frequency of one-fingered waves.




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