I am definitely not a perfect driver, but somehow I have managed to hang on to my Alberta drivers’ license for 53 years, but never liked the picture. With the exception of a few tickets and demerits acquired during my wild and woolly ‘courting days’, I have now slowed down quite a bit as well as paying attention and trying to follow the rules of the road, with lots of respect for pedestrians.
What really scares me now is that there are so many more vehicles on the road, most with a power-house under the hood and far too many gadgets that often take our eyes off the road ahead. Unfortunately quite a few of the fast growing numbers of drivers 18 and over that are getting behind wheel each and every day 24-7 seem to be in too much of a hurry, and then shift quickly into the ‘panic mode’ if they get into a squeeze. Speed limit signs are placed in all areas of urban and rural areas for a very good reason and for the care and safety of everyone. Sadly, in many cases these rules are not being followed, but hopefully there will be a cop in the vicinity or sitting behind a nearby hedge with a radar gun in hand to catch the culprits.
Like many others I love to cruise around in the residential areas, which always have lots of vehicles parked along the curb, and many uncontrolled cross-walks. Of course there will always be those who insist on kicking up the speed and dashing in and out of traffic, but usually get even more frustrated when they have to slow down or stop at the same lights and stop signs as everyone else who are patiently striving to get safely and sensibly to their daily destinations. To express how crucial it is to slow down and drive carefully in all residential areas and school zones, please pause a moment and think what disaster could occur in just a split second if a small child came rushing out into the road, a senior or a mother with a buggy and kids were moving slowly through a cross-walk, or someone suddenly made one of those always scary left turns?
I will be the first to admit that an accident can completely change and affect the lives of everyone involved, including families, individuals, friends, and communities. Our provincial law enforcement and emergency officials at all levels have their hands full coping with the thousands of vehicles that travel our highways and byways each and every day. In a sustained effort to cut down on the horrific carnage and the ignorant and blatant disregard of our traffic laws, our government has greatly increased the punishment and the consequences of those convicted of the violations, and here are just a few of the examples from among over 100 driving infraction laws in our province.
● Impaired Driving. Depending on number of convictions, fines begin at $150.00, but can also include impoundment of vehicle, suspension of license for up to a year, and imprisonment.
● Dangerous and Careless Driving. Convictions can include fines of $400.00 plus, 6 demerits, impoundment of vehicle, disqualification of license, and imprisonment. Speeding convictions depend on how many miles one is clocked going over the speed limit, with 50 M.P.H. over bringing at least a $351.00 fine and six demerits.
● Distracted Driving is also the most recent driving offense that is really getting lots of attention because of its ongoing abuse by drivers of all ages. A conviction may include an initial fine of $172.00 as well as other charges.
Bottom line, it is up to all of us to enjoy the use of our vehicles for all our excursions to work and play, but once we jump behind that wheel, it is our responsibility to stay within the laws, drive safely, and pay attention with respect to pedestrians and everyone else who is out there on the road with us. Don’t forget that when we are driving a vehicle, our lives, and the lives of many others are in our hands. Thank you for caring, and driving with good sense and safety in mind. Our driving motto should be ‘eyes up and both hands on the wheel.”
Welcome to the 21st century.
We are now known as the ‘Less’ century, because….our phones are wireless, our cooking is fireless, our cars are keyless, our food is fatless, our tires are tubeless, and our dress is sleeveless; but thank God that our hopes are still endless. Try to remember to give people more than they expect, and do it cheerfully; and never laugh at anyone’s dreams, because people who don’t have dreams, don’t have much. Let’s all keep pushing Indian summer long into October, and have a great week, all of you.