I can rationalize that behaviour
I glanced at the driver stopped beside me at a red light today. He was busily chatting with someone via the cell phone that he was holding to his ear with his right hand. A marked police vehicle pulled up to our right and stopped to wait for the red as well. The driver beside me noticed, put his phone on speaker, held his hand below dash level and kept on with his conversation. The police vehicle departed on the green and when it was our turn this driver was rolling into the intersection well ahead of the light changing.
Coincidentally, I also watched a YouTube video this evening created by the Abbotsford Police Department. It's two minutes of the best and worst driving excuses for the past year as heard by the officers at roadside. It is abundantly clear that some drivers do not accept any responsibility for their behaviour on our highways. I've often described this as the philosophy of "I'm important, you're not. I'm in a hurry, get out of my way!" These people really do not care about sharing the road with you and me.
Both of these incidents started me thinking about my own experiences in traffic law enforcement. It would appear that our government has introduced new legislation to control hazardous driving behaviour and there is more public advocacy for safer behaviour but there is still no shortage of drivers willing to put themselves first. It's curious that our system also allows them the opportunity to be the only instructor for a new driver, but I digress.
This article is the only action that I felt comfortable about taking to counter the driver on the cell phone. Catching his attention and showing disapproval could invite road rage. Waving like a maniac to attract attention of the officer at the intersection was not likely going to be that successful. In the end, it looks like he won. Maybe you really can't legislate against stupidity.
Read more Behind the Wheel articles
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: [email protected]
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