Why Do We Have Traffic Rules?
I have just returned from a visit to Montreal, and driving behaviour that I saw there gave me a lot to think about. No one came to a full stop at a stop sign unless it was to avoid a collision with traffic already there. If you did stop and did not immediately proceed, the driver behind you honked the horn. Lines on the road appeared to mean very little to any driver. To me, it appeared to be chaos.
Each morning the newspaper carried articles on fatal collisions that had occurred in the past 24 hours. I began to wonder, are traffic rules only important in determining the "winner" after a collision? In our haste to get from place to place in our busy lives, is it worth placing ourselves and others in jeopardy just to save a minute or two?
I have spent the better part of my service with the R.C.M.P. in traffic law enforcement. When I attend a collision today, I feel like I have failed the motoring public. My job is to prevent these incidents from occurring. Am I taking the job too seriously?
Aside from the educational efforts I make to have drivers know and follow the rules, the only other tool I have is the traffic ticket. I often say, tongue in cheek, arrest and fight someone, send them to court and see the judge give them jail time and it's not a problem. However, if I write someone a traffic ticket it's like I called their mother a bad name!
The traffic rules are there for all of us, police included. When you choose to disobey them, you are choosing to put others at risk without their permission. Police enforce the traffic rules, not out of spite, but out of a genuine desire to try and make our highways safe for everyone.