Friday, July 17, 2009

Come Near St. John's Streets at Your Peril

What's the Difference Between St. John's city council and city streets?
Ans.: There's now some civility in St. John's city council.

Wow, I almost saw someone get killed tonight. Waiting with others at a red light on Stavanger Dr., the four lane Torbay Rd. dragstrip's light was changing to amber. With windows up, an accelerating, heavy sounding motor, possibly an 8 cylinder, was getting closer and louder as the amber light paused for an expected exchange to red. As the cars in front of our lane began to venture out to the Torbay Rd. dragstrip, a dark yellow Mustang with it's impressive sounding engine still being torqued, blasted through the red light, just a few feet away from its near victim. There could very well have been a pedestrian ready to walk across also.

Lucky drivers, both the racer and the one waiting for the green light. Preceding the yellow Mustang were three or four others who no doubt were on their way to an emergency, also. That's it, just like every other minute and hour of every day, there are many urgent things that rationalizes the absense of road sense, civility, safety, and courtesy. Perhaps there is a third world war that some people have heard about, or a Nostradamus end of the world prediction that is causing Michael Schumacher syndrome on city streets. Whatever it is, the probability of someone getting killed or very seriously injured as a result of reckless driving has increased, particularly in the last two years.

There is a real opportunity here for lots of profits from issued speeding or reckless driving tickets .. if that will motivate law enforcement to crack down.

The police surely have plenty to keep them busy but this is a safety issue and more attention has to be directed into deterring reckless drivers from hurting others or themselves - drunk drivers are not the only ones endangering lives.

It's just amazing to drive around the place - there is a sense of urgency, aggression, impatience, and just rudeness. Sorry to say, but this is how it is, and does not have to be. A sign of the busy economic times in these parts? Perhaps. It may very well be that people get accustomed to driving a certain way and are not aware of their habits. Whatever, it needs to change.

A final word of advice, never take a green light for granted. For some people, a red light means "Go, Faster!"

It's good to see a couple of civilized candidates running for major in the city. If they can translate civility to city streets, they will get this vote when re-election times comes up. Each year the city does try to improve roads, and this year the road crews have their hands and shovels full. The streets of St. John's have been nightmarish to meander around. It's been like driving over a dirt road but with potholes having serrated edges, and at night, like a minefield of ruts, holes, and tire ripping speed bumps. You would think that people would be concerned to protect their precious trucks, cars, suvs or whatever, but no, speed and power win out.

Note: Obviously reckless, inconsiderate driving is not exclusive to St. John's, and exists everywhere. It's just the place with the busiest streets, and which has a high chance of accidents happening, insurance rates and blood pressure rising. This is a also a quality of life issue. The world is not ending tomorrow and Christmas is five months away. If it's a real emergency, indicate it, if not, slow down.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so with you on this, There are to many nuts and bolts on our roads. I agree the drunk drivers are not the only ones who are hitting and killing people. People seem to be in a rush nowadays. I was crossing a street a month ago, I know its a busy intersection. here they pedestrian countdown timers to indicate how much time is left in the green light phase for pedestrians to cross the intersection , I was on one of those and if I had not stopped walking whenI did I would have been hit by 3 cars making a left WHEN it was our turn to walk. they just wanted to beat the light. Now where are the police when this happens. We all say that when crap like this gets unnoticed. It is scary to say the least.
Have a great weekend. SMILES