Punishment should match the speed

 In Letters, Opinion

I must say that I agree that vehicle speeding has accelerated in this area. Unsafe driving of all types has increased and seemingly more so since the pandemic has kept us at home. My guess is that city drivers invading the area have brought their aggressive driving styles with them. I don’t kid myself that us locals don’t let loose once in a while. After all a modern sedan might have 350 HP under the hood, and the speedometer goes up to 280 km/hr, so why not have a bit of fun at the expense of our neighbour’s safety? Well, because we know our neighbours and we really don’t want to run over their children.
Reducing speed limits is very unlikely to work. After all, we know the local police services aren’t funded well enough to have the staff to enforce the existing speed limits, so having any arbitrary speed limit is a waste of good sign paint. We really need to enforce what limits we have now. Most of us drive at around 14 km/hr above the limit as that’s where the demerit points start to have an effect on our insurance rates. Try that travelling down the interstate in the USA. At three or four miles per hour above the limit you will be pulled over and handed a ticket. After all the posted number is a “limit” not a recommendation.
(I have always wondered why our fine amount is based on the rate of speed over the limit and not a percentage of the speed over. Is it not much more dangerous to be driving 60 km/hr in a 40 km/hr zone in town than travelling at 120 km/hr in a 100 km/hr zone on a limited access highway? Yet it’s the same fine. A 40 or 50 km/hr zone should mean business. Travelling at 50 per cent above that speed should be where people have to hand over their keys and call a cab.)
I also wonder why we can even purchase a vehicle which has a top speed over double the highest Canadian speed limits. StatsCan figures from 2018 show traffic fatalities across Canada were 1,939, whereas firearms fatalities across Canada were 249 for the same period. Our present government is endeavouring to prohibit assault style weapons which, when in the wrong hands, could seriously harm a human being. I’m not against that. I just believe that automobiles in the hands of the wrong people have been demonstrated by the numbers to cause 700 per cent more tragedy. What are they doing about this?
Anyway, I am sure that in a few decades all of this will be irrelevant. Those of us that can survive our reckless driving will live to see autonomous cars which may be governed by a signal from the speed zone sign itself that limits our vehicle to travel at the posted speed limit. And maybe that speed is even faster than the present limits which have to accommodate for human error, reaction times, stupidity and over-estimating our driving abilities.
Stay safe out there Creemore.
Murray Lackie,

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