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Wednesday, November 16, 2011
From the way we design our roads, manage and police traffic, you may think we’re focused on safety. “Slow down”, “speed kills” and other assorted slogans we hear from our police, government, insurance industry and other safety Nazis appeal to a majority of family-oriented driving public. Thousands of stop signs, police speed traps, “racing” laws and traffic management systems designed to slow and stop cars at every opportunity seem to have an effect. We brag about being “the safest jurisdiction in North America”. It is true to a point and our police, of course, take credit for this. I think most of the credit should go to the way our cars are designed these days. I don’t see people behaving better than ever on our roads. I think it’s the opposite: It’s getting worse and the only things that save us are advancements in car and medical technologies.
The “slow down” mentality has one major effect on the motoring public: Drivers don’t feel the need to pay attention. They’ve been trained so that if they just go slow and don’t drink, they don’t need to do anything else to be safe on the road.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Statistics show that our roads are much more dangerous than many jurisdictions (some without speed limits!) in the world.
In my opinion, considering the speed of traffic, the kind of cars we drive and the mainly straight, open roads we travel on, our roads are super deadly.
Time to wake up, stop pretending and get rid of the “not invented here” syndrome when it comes to traffic safety and management.