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September 02, 2010

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John Ross Harvey

Read the pedestrian fatalities article on my web page I wrote in January, reprinted almost verbatim in Vaughan Citizen, and then tell me, that motorists are not a police issue, cars in GTA do many things wrong, I know I commute with them 1hr each way from Vaughan, less than 50km each way. They cannot count to 1, always taking 2 lanes or more, they cannot discern left from right, and a signal is just too much work, and they all speed, construction zone or not. Every time they do something wrong like speed, or run red lights, others are at their mercy, I'd rather have them pulled over and fined, then have them run over a child they weren't looking for at an intersection they failed to enter properly. Find me on Twitter as @harveyhelmet & @s_i_n_s

Jonathan

Jim:

Your comments match my thoughts on the ever-so-recent process that has been happening down here on the Rock... Apparently the RCMP have started using helicopters to catch speeders. I don't do much highway driving these days and haven't seen any myself but I do know several people who were ticketed and I have overheard others who were warning to watch for helicopters certain specific areas (and those areas are well known due to the large yellow timing blocks they paint on the side of the highways in the areas the helicopters patrol plus the fact that you can see the bird in the air).

Now I am not an accountant nor do I have a large aviation background but surely goodness the multi-thousand dollar hourly cost of operating a helicopter and running the onboard surveillance equipment plus the 2 to 3 squad cars that are still required to pull people over and ticket them has to FAR exceed the long-term cost for hiring more police, paying pensions/medical/salary and so on... and those extra police are capable of citing other ticketable offenses and types of crimes which we would all vote to be much better use of the tax dollar. But I guess people stay under the speed limit at night and in fog/rain/... when the chopper can't fly?

However since there are only 2 or 3 short areas of the TCH that are patrolled that way, the other 795 kilometers of 800 you can drive as-per-normal... Effective speed and safety management?

I would love to see safer roads and am not advocating photo-radar or more police patrols on a nice summer day or anything, just making a comment that money spent on helicopter patrols to "prevent" speeding doesn't do anything that an extra guy eatin donuts parked on the side of the road can't do just as well (but oh yes I watched Motoring this week and laughed at the parked police bit as well and totally agree).

Best of luck with Targa in few days! You all ready to go? (remember to keep the nice shiny side up and have fun).

Larry

If we have so many terrible drivers around, what makes it okay for you and others to go over the speed limit?

Julie King

What is "real police work"? In your opinion.

Reg

The big difference is that we don't us traffic enforcement cameras.

Luke Ventura

Jim, in another recent blog you complain that traffic is so bad in this city it's impossible to move. And today you rant about how easy it is to get a speeding ticket...

Does nobody else see the irony?

Jim Kenzie

I guess the cops are trying to make the roads past cemeteries safer...

Jim

Jim Kenzie

E.g., getting tailgaters, lane-weavers, left-lane bandits and drunks off the road, none of which can be accomplished by standing in the driveway of a cemetery.

Oh, and not spending a day on court prosecuting people for NOT breaking the law (i.e., for warning others about radar traps.)

Jim

Jim Kenzie

It is incumbent on the police to catch the people doing the dangerous stuff.

Doing 60 km/h past a cemetery signed at 50 at 6:30 in the morning is NOT dangerous; the cop is wasting his time and our tax dollars to ZERO safety effect.

Catch the bad drivers doing bad stuff. Not that hard to figure out.

Jim

Jim Kenzie

As one who lost a sister who was in fact run over, I can't argue with you. We should indeed get the bad drivers off the road. But again, a radar trap on a mostly deserted road isn't going to catch the drivers you're talking about here.

Jim

Brian

I would like to respond to the usual, long weekend, threats about increased OPP presence. Apart from being mostly a PR campaign, I am worried about the 50km over fines/impoundments that have been trotted out.

I live in Northern Ontario where we have endless two lane roads and lots of long transport trucks. The usual method of passing is waiting for a clear stretch of highway (with a dotted line 'passing' zone indicated), pull out and get past as quickly as possible. With today's modern cars it is now easily possible to be doing more than 140 km/h when you pull in after passing a particularly long rig. Meeting an oncoming OPP at this point would possibly mean an instant vehicle impounding and license suspension, huge fines and a long walk home.

This law was a hasty reaction to a Metro problem that received no thought of its impact on the rest of the province. I think we need to start a fund for the inevitable Supreme Court challenge. I hope it won't be me.

frustrated

I got caught on the bridge on Bathurst north of St. Clair, a route I have been travelling for 8 years. I increased my speed to pass into the fast lane in order to avoid a cell phone user in front of me who was slamming on the brakes every minute so she could concentrate on listening and speaking.
This business of "lying in wait" is so absurd. With what I see travelling the 400 every weekend, it would curl your hair.
Come out from your hiding spot and catch the real perpetrators.

Fran├žois

Right you are Jim. I find it hard to believe that anyone really thinks that enforcing a speed limit of 100 kph on a limited access highway like the 400 series is a safety motivated policy. I just wonder if the revenue generated by the speeding tickets for the province and insurance companies has a big effect on policy.

This 50 over law is a knee-jerk reaction to a drunk driver getting killed while making a left turn in front of a car street racing at night. We already had plenty of laws prohibiting racing, and drunk driving.

Some people just can't get it through their head that going 130 kph on an empty straight stretch of road with good visibility in northern Ontario is less dangerous than talking on a cell phone while eating a doughnut and making an unsafe lane change.

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