There was a time when most drivers took personal responsibility to drive safely, with due care and attention, obeying the rules of the road and using common sense. We used to call it driving defensively. This means the best offence is defence. Now many drivers apparently believe that defensive driving is offensive (pun intended) as speeding is the norm from my observations.
The infliction that the most flagrant speeders demonstrate is either retinal detachment or attention deficit disorder. They either cannot see speed signs or they ignore them. I suspect the latter; how can one not see three highway signs in a row advising one to decrease speed?
The worst areas of violation are school zones. In Summerland I regularly observe more than 90 per cent of drivers speeding in excess of 30 km/h. This includes municipal vehicles, logging trucks, gravel trucks, freight trucks and an assortment of cars and pickups. I won’t even mention the excitement in trying to cross the street in a crosswalk.
The rule used to be that one had to stop before the pedestrian left the curb and wait until they reached the other side; now cars roll up to the crosswalk as one is in the crosswalk, causing a spike in endorphins and an elevated level of anxiety.
The big picture, however, happens on our highways. The current government has a novel approach to make-work programs. It encourages media, MLAs and local folk to promote the identification of “killer highways”, such as the one north of Summerland, at Yellow Lake and currently in Lake Country. I should throw in the Sea to Sky highway at the coast for a fair balance. Then the government solution is to straighten out the ‘most wanted’ killer highways at unjustifiable cost to the environment and we taxpayers.
I was sure that the highway through Rogers pass right to the Alberta foothills was next, but a speeding truck that dumped its load in Vaseux Lake on Oct. 28 has caught the attention of media and public officials as the next “killer highway” that must be straightened out so save the speeders from themselves.
I have never known a highway to be a ‘killer’; speed, yes. What’s wrong with this picture?