To serve and collect

In the late 1980s in Ontario, a driver in a pickup truck, while on her way to work, lost control of her vehicle, crossed over the meridian, ran down a coulee and crashed into a vehicle in a shopping mall, killing a young pregnant woman, her unborn child and her two-year-old son. During the investigation the driver was asked why she lost control, and she replied, "I noticed a cop in front of me and tried to buckle up, and my wheel hit the meridian, lost control and I panicked, hit the accelerator instead of the brake, that’s all I remember and woke up in the hospital.”  The cause of this fatal accident is sad, but it's made more so by the fact that had she not feared the very one called to serve and protect us, that mother and child would have still been alive - and all because of a miserable fine?

Back in my days, to see a cop close by was a sense of security. Now what goes through most people’s minds while driving is fear! Not of the cop himself, but as to what our fearless protectors have become. Do I have my seatbelt on? Am I going too fast? Better put my cell, or sandwich, or coffee down. You see, for the average citizen, the difference between making ends meet is just a ticket away. But really now! Why has it become that way, you ask? The answer is because numbers and statistics don’t lie. Handing out traffic fines has become a multimillion dollar business, and don’t get me wrong here, I am all for safety and traffic law enforcement. However, the manner and extent in which it is exploited is beyond reason. In fact, the ticket industry has become so enormous that every major province has created all kinds of divisions dedicated solely for that reason. You've got the bike squad, bylaw units of all varieties, photo radar traps, city engineer enforcement, Sheriffs, Mounties, Municipal, ghost squad, marine, and aerial radar squads, just to mention a few. Oh, and then there’s the entrapment manner! Cops staging an accident, merging all lanes to one just to have another cop looking at you looking at the accident for a seatbelt check. Cops impersonating city workers, hard hat and all, doing make-shift road construction while all those who weren't buckled up get pulled over on the other side.

C’mon now. The average walking speed is 3-6 km/hr. Motorists are ticketed at 6-9 over the limit or less, when zero tolerance is enforced? Motorists are so paranoid; they slam on the brakes when they see a cop, even when they are below the limit. Will it ever end? I am sure our police did not sign up to be instruments of greed or enjoy it at all. Unfortunately the wheels of Governmental greed is now in full motion…thus ever seeing our true policing at heart as it once was… To Serve and Protect.


Perry Duquette has been an active freelance writer for over two decades.  He was a self-employed art and media publisher in 1999-2002. After graduating from The Canadian Investigation Academy, he found that Investigative Journalism was his calling. His motto is…"All sides are true, but only one is the truth…revolting or not!"  


This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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