This is that exciting time of the year when the dull brown leftovers of winter are slowly being replaced by the glorious green upstarts of a new spring. As all of us emerge from our winter cocoons to mingle amongst nature with great gusto there are also many safety and co-operation and care issues that we must always be aware of.
Of course most people will soon be out raking and revitalizing their neat little piece of real estate, but we also need to watch out for our municipal and highway crews as they do their full-scale spring clean-ups. The street-sweepers and other crews are already out at all hours clearing the winter gravel off of our streets, curbs and boulevards; and while they create quite a bit of dust in the process. They have flashing lights, and special care should be taken when approaching or passing.
Out on our highways and by-ways the contractors will be washing bridges, replacing guardrails and much more. As well as flashing lights, bright vests and speed signs placed in the areas where they are working. There are always some people who do not respect their safety and are subject to three times the normal fines if they are caught or reported.
Also with the arrival of spring there are people of all ages taking to the streets, paths, and parks in all modes of transportation from bikes to buggies to skateboards, or just plain walking for fun and invigorating exercise. In all of our spring spirit and enthusiasm we sometimes don’t always pay attention, so as pedestrians, all those behind the wheel need to show their respect by slowing down and keeping a close watch, especially in school zones, at crosswalks and around the neighbourhoods.
I doubt if many of you will pay much attention to these basic traffic violation fine facts, but I will present them here this week for your information. Bottom line, too much speed, impatience, not paying attention, or just one stupid mistake could produce horrific results, not only for the driver, passengers, and family; but also for the innocent victims or bystanders and their loved ones! As well as these fines and demerits on your license; breaking the law can also result in suspensions, jail sentences, lawsuits, as well as jeopardizing the loss of everything that one has worked so hard for all of their lives!
*Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk -$575 and four demerits.
*Stop sign violation, and failing to stop at a red light- $287 and three demerits.
*Failing to obey a traffic control device-$172 and three demerits.
*Illegal U-turn- $115 and two demerits.
*Failing to signal a lane change-$115 and two demerits.
*Speeding- starts at $89 for 15 kilometres over the limit, and climbs very quickly to $351 for 50 clicks over, which also requires a court appearance.
*Careless driving-$402 plus six demerits.
*Passing a school bus-$402 and six demerits.
*Seat belt violation-$115 for each violator in the vehicle.
*Impaired driving-$2,000 fine, suspension, or possibly six months in jail.
Please cherish and enjoy each and every day, but take special care behind the wheel, because that is your neighbours, your life and our future flashing before your eyes!
A tribute to the Blotter
I have always been a great supporter of the weekly Police Blotter each week in the Ponoka News; because it shows us in a lighter way just how ridiculous it is to break the law, but that the consequences are never quite that funny. In appreciation and respect to all of our law enforcement and emergency services officials and what they have to face 24-7, I would like to dedicate this little bit of trivia to you!
*The best safety device today is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it.
*Bill: My wife just got a ticket for speeding. Ray: That’s nothing; my wife is so bad the police gave her a season ticket.
*”What am I supposed to do with this?’ grumbled the motorist as the police clerk handed him a receipt for his traffic fine. “Keep it,” the clerk advised. “When you get four of them, you get a bicycle!”
*A police officer pulled a young man over for speeding and politely asked to see his license. “Why don’t you cops get your act together,” he said in a huff. “Yesterday you took my license away, and now today you expect me to show it to you!”
*The judge said to the defendant, “I thought I told you that I never wanted to see you in here again?” “Your honour,” the criminal pleaded. “That’s what I tried to tell the police, but they wouldn’t listen!”
Have a great week, all of you.