Guest editorial – Dave Foe’s View
Those of us who spend any time in downtown Morinville are familiar with the dance craze that is the 100 Avenue Shuffle. The steps are easy, at least the basic moves. You put your right foot out and then you put your left foot out. Those motions are repeated until you have to suck in your gut, butt or both to avoid being clipped by some jabbering yahoo on their cell phone whipping up 100 Avenue oblivious to the cross walks or anything other than the greasy cheeseburger they are double fisting as they drive. And for those of you texting while driving up 100 Avenue, you are the twit in Twitter.
The burger eaters, cell phone users and Twitter addicts are the ones we can forgive to some extent because they are idiots. And we must pity idiot drivers because they are self-absorbed nitwits who should not be trusted with a wheel of cheese, let alone the wheel of a powerful sport utility. Worse are the posterior orifices who see someone crossing the street at a crosswalk and just speed on by, pass a driver who has stopped for a pedestrian or impatiently nudge the pedestrian along to force them to cross quicker. It’s a highway, after all. How dare we cross it to get where we’re going.
It’s great to have a speed sign on the sidewalk next to St. Jean Baptiste Park. It’s great to have everyone’s friendly neighbourhood photo-radar-man ™ parked on the side of the road to help finance community cultural centres and protect the streets of Morinville under his watchful eye. But a speeding fine arriving in the mail is no good if some senior citizen or little kid gets clipped because some inconsiderate motorist is texting to his bud about how awesome the burger he’s double fisting is.
Do we need to nail speeders? Yes, and if you are speeding you need a ticket. But we really need to start nailing drivers who fail to yield for a pedestrian on 100 Avenue, 100 Street or anywhere else cross walks exist in this community. It’s a nice juicy $500-plus fine and four demerit points. It’s just the kind of thing that might smarten some drivers up and spread the message that traffic enforcement in Morinville extends well beyond cameras in trucks.
Because whether you are speeding or doing the speed limit, if you aren’t stopping for the senior crossing the road en route to the farmer’s market or for the kid heading off to the park, the result could be the same – a dead pedestrian.