Treena Mielke – On The Other Side
It had been a long day. A really, really long day.
I explained all this carefully to the cop who was standing at my driver’s side door, holding that little radar gun thing that has magic eyes that can, apparently, peer right onto your speedometer.
“Shucks” I murmured, “we’ll actually it probably wasn’t shucks, but another word I don’t usually use in my column that I said when I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw the red and yellow lights doing a familiar dance behind me. “Where did he come from?”
I had just finished covering a high school grad. It was, of course, magical. The grads looked incredible. The speeches were impressive and inspired even me. “Never, ever, ever quit,” I told myself as I took my notebook and my camera and my somewhat weary self out the door of the dimly lit auditorium.
But, the grad, over and above all the beautiful gowns and handsome young men and inspiring speeches was l-o-n-g.
I thought of home and the company who had arrived earlier bringing with him enough bedding plants to turn my yard into a Better Homes and Gardens masterpiece.
I thought of a nice glass of wine and the cosy comfort of my kitchen and the little chandelier over my kitchen table that spreads its soft mellow light over us all.
I thought of laughter and kicking off my really, really cute, but somewhat squishy shoes and sipping a glass of red wine poured into one of my fancy wine glasses that are very old and lovely and come in two sizes. Tonight I will take the big size, I think. I think about the absolute delight of listening to people talk knowing full well I do not have to record what they said nor take their picture, but only smile and nod.
I thought of going home.
And as I thought of all of the above I stepped on the accelerator a little too hard.
Hence, the dancing lights behind me.
I looked pleading at the young man with the gun, but he ignored me.
“License, registration and insurance,” he said sternly.
He looked at the crappy picture of me on my license and said, “I know you from somewhere.”
Immediately, I saw a glimmer of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, a way out.
“I wrote about you when you came,” I said, faking confidence and cheerfulness, hoping against hope that it was one of my better articles.
He said nothing. I said nothing, further, that is.
“OK,” he said, finally. “I will let you off, but you must promise me to write about speeding and how bad it is.”
“OK,” I said, resisting the urge to hug him because that would have been totally inappropriate and also resisting the urge to speed on the way home because that would be like looking a gift horse in the mouth.
In all seriousness, speeding is bad on so many levels. The statistics about speeding are sobering, and no amount of humor can soften them.
Speeding crashes occur because drivers take risks that are unsafe. A speeding driver takes the chance of being less able to negotiate twists and turns of the road and to avoid hazards. The few extra seconds it takes to slow a vehicle down can mean the difference between life and death.
The number of victims killed or injured because of speed is not significantly different that the number of victims from alcohol-related crashes.
Most serious speeding crashes occur during good weather and with normal road conditions.
Speeding is a serious road safety problem that causes an unacceptable amount of harm and suffering.
It is possible to reduce the number of persons killed and seriously hurt in speed crashes each year in Canada. But it can’t happen unless everyone takes action, pays attention and drives responsibly.
And that includes you. And, most certainly, me.
It’s a fact!