Q&A - Is the Current Traffic Enforcement System Working?
I was driving North bound on Hwy 97 approaching Summerland. As usual I was passed by a speeding vehicle (I confess, I'm a "speeder" but I confine my illegal activity to 10 kph over) So when I say a speeder, I'm not describing someone going 12 kph over a limit, while I'm travellling 2 kph under. In the appropriete conditions (dry, light traffic, day time) if I say I'm passed by a speeder, you can expect someone going 20 + over the posted limit, likely more.
Anyway nothing unusual. The speeder arrives at the intersection of Hwy 97 and Prairie Valley Rd, for anyone familiar with the area, the top of the Summerland hill as you enter the main area of Summerland.
The driver arrives at the intersection enters the left turn lane to turn to travel West bound on Prairie Valley Rd. The left turn lane at this location is controlled by a demand traffic light sequence. There is a dedicated three phase traffic light for left turn vehicles, such that straight through North bound traffic may have a green, but a vehicle in the left turn lane may face a red.
I pull up behind the (former) speeder at the red left turn light. There was absolutely no traffic in the area, not stopped waiting to cross Hwy 97, nor approaching from the North or South, just the two of us. The speeding had already demonstrated that he didn't mind comitting a violation within my view.
The driver remained stopped at the red light. Many of you are saying "yes, so, and your point is....?"
Well, for whatever reason this driver sped North bound, risking a fine and a 3 point ticket, but arriving at a red traffic light chose to obey the light even though he risked a lessor fine and only 2 point ticket for the light. Why ?
Is it the mentality that it is legal to travel along a roadway and it is a graduating scale ? So because it's legal to travel 90 kph (the speed limit in that area), it's sorta OK to go 110 kph, or 120, BUT, it's not legal to disobey a red traffic light at any speed ?
If someone was told not to drink any water in a glass on a table, would that restriction be obeyed more consistantly than if someone was told they could drink water from the glass but to a maximum of half the glass of water. Would they be more likely to drink 3/4's of it, all of it ?
Is it fear of detection ? I'm driving along at 30 kph over the limit, that perhaps isn't as obvious as driving through a red light ? Or, I could argue I wasn't going that fast I thought I was only going a little over. "everyone does it". But the red light is (no joke intended) "black & white"
Are the tactics our police use to enforcement laws getting the results we need ? Deserve ?
What if there was no way to know where the police were monitoring speeds, disguised vehicles, (all sorts), equipped with multiple recording devices, legislation changing the definition of "owner".
We all see the aggresive driver, tailgating, bullying his/her way through traffic, dangerous passing, high speeds.
The nicest least frusterating vehicle to drive that doesn't get tailgated or passed dangerously is a marked police vehicle.
Is the police vehicle sitting at the side of the roadway a reliable way of assessing the driving behavious of one of these road bullys ? In the preceeding minutes the violator may have tailgated, passed dangeriously, sped, then, only if unlucky, gets a speeding ticket and unless he/she was over 40 kph the limit will get the same penalty as another driver going 11, 12, kph over, who is not a road bully.
Another suggestion... for those chronic locations where speeding is continual no matter how many times police set up speed checks. Permanent photo radar. School zones especially.