There has been quite a bit of press recently about the problem of speeding, and a number of solutions proposed to address this. However, none of these solutions appear to address the root of the problem, as I see it.
The fact is that there is absolutely no incentive for a driver to obey the speed limit. All you get if you drive the speed limit around here is the sensation of standing still while traffic flows around you, with maybe a dirty look from a fellow driver who feels that by obeying the law you are impeding the flow of traffic.
There are, of course, fines if you are caught speeding, but given the ratio of RCMP vehicles to the general populace, you’ve probably got less chance of getting nailed than you have of getting money back on your lotto ticket.
What I propose would be a sort of traffic lotto. Bring back the photo radar units, but add a carrot to the stick. Each week, all those clocked by the radar units travelling at the posted speed would get a thank-you note, and a certain percentage of these would contain also a modest gift certificate — something on the order of coffee-and-donut at Timmy’s, or maybe $10 of free gas.
Prizes could be funded by increased collection of traffic fines and donations from businesses. Each month, all those caught behaving themselves on radar in the previous month would go into a draw for a more substantial prize, and each year there would be a draw for one or more really good prizes, like a free car or a year’s worth of gas, or more if funding permits. Of course, getting a traffic ticket subsequent to a good-conduct prize would take away your chances in any further draws.
This would not only increase the chances of catching offending drivers, but give a solid incentive for driving at the posted speed. Good drivers would get recognition, speeders would get fines. Sounds fair to me.