Mar 9, 2013 / 5:00 am
Tonight's six o'clock news contained a story about how police had issued over 5,500 tickets for "using electronic devices while driving" offences across the province in February 2013. More than 100 more were ticketed for driving without due care and attention. It means to me that lots of drivers aren't obeying the law and more than 100 were caught doing something dangerous because of it.
The reporter interviewed a couple of the drivers receiving tickets and they both had rationalizations for their actions. They both also knew that what they were doing was wrong. Why do we justify our misbehaviour when we get behind the wheel? Since we all pay for one's mistakes you can't even say that you are only taking the risk on yourself.
I've listened to many explanations for committing a violation, both at the side of the road and in traffic court. If it wasn't an offence like "Haven't you got anything better to do? Why aren't you out catching (insert your favourite crime here)?" it was a defence like "No one else was around." The courts often heard "I don't deserve this, everyone else was doing it, the officer is picking on me" and other statements in the same vein.
I don't like to admit that I am wrong either, but we do have to take ownership of our driving practices and stop justifying our misbehaviour. Even when it is inconvenient we need to do what is right rather than what is expedient. It's probably the best way to keep the highways safer for all of us.
The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit www.drivesmartbc.ca.
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Tim Schewe has been writing his column for most of the 20 years in his traffic enforcement service in the RCMP. It was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and now Castanet.net. Schewe retired from the Force in January of 2006, but the column became a habit and continues.
E-mail him your questions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- 'Bright' pedestrians Feb 9
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