Slow down or pay the fine
Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014 12:30 pm
As the sole driver in our household, I tend to put a lot of miles on my truck. I drive back and forth from home (which is about 20 minutes from town) to St. Paul at least once a day and I sometimes do the trip multiple times in one day.
That means I get to deal with other drivers on the highways and roads in town a lot. Although I don’t consider myself a perfect driver in any way, it’s hard to deny that there are a lot of careless drivers on the roads.
The summer appears to aggravate bad habits. Whether it is the perfect road conditions, the excitement of heading out on holidays, or just the laid back atmosphere, speeders seem to come out in full force when it’s warm out.
Driving into St. Paul a few weeks ago, I experienced first-hand why the town is eager to have photo radar installed. Most days I enter St. Paul from the west on a busy Highway 29, where vehicles of all sizes and types are either leaving town, increasing to highway speeds, or entering town where they should be decreasing to 50km/hour.
Half of this specific trip into town I was followed very closely by a large truck. The truck was attempting to pass me multiple times (as I drove slightly above the speed limit) but was unable to because of continuous oncoming traffic. As soon as the second lane appeared as we entered town, the truck was quick to pass, going well over the posted speed limit when it no doubt should have been slowing down.
I turned into a grocery store parking lot, but could see the truck as it passed the golf course, still going close to 80km/hour in an area bustling with people and other vehicles. The truck’s speeding even surprised my husband, who tends to encourage me to be a bit more aggressive in my driving habits.
Although there has been some negative feedback regarding photo radar coming to St. Paul this fall, I can affirm that I support the town’s decision. I’m a county resident, but I come to St. Paul regularly and if I am caught speeding, I will have no problem admitting to my mistake and forking over whatever the cost of the ticket might be.
Safety on our streets is important. There is research to refute photo radar, but there is also evidence to prove that it works. Like any good debate, there will undoubtedly be people on both sides of the argument, and it appears in St. Paul this debate has also turned political, with our local MLA supporting a petition against photo radar.
Perhaps the focus of the debate needs to shift back to where it began – safety. The town and provincial representatives need to work together, not against each other. The debate also has nothing to do with county residents versus town residents. It is everyone’s responsibility to drive safe, abide by the posted speed limits, and adopt safer driving habits.