Comment 7065

By adrian (registered) | Posted June 21, 2007 at 12:50:24

Robert, I'm also sorry for the loss your family has experienced with David's needless death.

When you say, "I'm seeing too much of this," I know what you mean. I don't commute to work and so often the only driving I do is when I go on long trips on the highway. This summer two of those trips have been to Ottawa, down the long, long 401. Each time I have witnessed extraordinarily reckless, dangerous driving.

It's not unusual on the 401, out of the city, to find traffic moving at average speeds of 130 or even 140 km/h. On long stretches of two-lane highway, where the minimum speed of drivers is 120 km/h, this is not particularly dangerous (although it is fuel-inefficient). When the difference in speed between cars is only 15 or 20 km/h, things happen slowly.

The problem is when people are driving at speeds that are grossly disproportionate to the average of the other people on the road. Outside the city, that means people driving 180 km/h. Inside the city, it means people driving 130 or 140 km/h when everyone else is driving 100 or 110 km/h in heavy traffic conditions.

On all of my long trips, I see individuals rapidly changing lanes from one side of the highway to the other, traveling at speeds much greater than everyone else. I have often seen them forced to make split-second maneuvers when, for example, they are aiming for a rapidly closing gap between a car in their lane and one in the next lane over. Since that seems to be how they like to drive in general, that means they are making many split-second decisions each time they're driving: and its only a matter of time before they screw up, with tragic results.

I think what we need isn't more enforcement with speed traps, but unmarked police vehicles on the highways that target people who are traveling much faster than anyone else, who are driving recklessly, and who are making unsafe lane changes.

These people should be given harsh penalties, including license suspensions. Every person who behaves in this manner is putting other people lives at risk.

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