Construction speed signs are for workers too
By: Rob McKinley
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 06:00 am
St. Albert is a beautiful city ó full of dozens of wonderful and opportunistic places to hide a photo radar vehicle. Behind a massive and beautiful, city-planted hedge on the boulevard alongside Hebert Avenue, in the overhanging shadows of a gorgeous tree in a decommissioned pathway of the beautiful trail system along Boudreau Avenue, or nestled along an outdoor patio fence, partially obscured by the roadside signage of one of the new, trendy restaurants located along St. Albert Trail ó all truly wonderful places to generate new tax revenue for a growing and vibrant city.
Youíre not about to read a rant about cash cows or why police arenít out catching real criminals. Whether you agree or not with the following sentences, know this ... speeders are a problem.
If the sign says 60 and the person who has been given the privilege to be behind the wheel of the vehicle chooses to drive at 72 kilometres an hour, then snap, flash and mail away that citation. Good on you, Mr. Enforcement Person.
No, this isnít about the people being caught. This is about those who arenít.
Highway motorists leaving St. Albert on Hwy. 2 are currently being told to drive past construction areas at 50 km/h. Speed fines will double, say the signs, and yes, the dark window-tinted Jeep Patriot or Ford minivan is alongside that road as well, capturing those who ignore the warnings.
As motorists on the pavement are driving at 50 in order to respect the safety of the construction men and women around them, it is truly frustrating to see white pickup trucks with construction company logos on their doors speeding along the dirt construction area alongside the roadway, kicking up plumes of dust as they zip past the line of slow-moving highway traffic.
Perhaps the cameras of photo radar vehicles in construction sites should be re-focused to take in a larger panorama.
Construction firms spend a great deal of time, effort and PR to educate drivers to slow down while they work. Signs are posted in construction areas of small children pleading with motorists to Ďslow down, my dad works here.í
Is your dad driving that pickup truck? Or is he one of the people working next to the dusty, bumpy trail the pickup truck is driving along? Is it fair to ask this question: Who is more likely to injure a construction worker ó a motorist going 10 kilometres over the speed limit on the hardtop adjacent to the area under construction, or the worker in his truck doing the same speed who is driving in and around machinery and personnel on uneven and dusty tracks?
Yes, they need to be speedy and get their jobs done quickly so we wonít continue to complain about traffic snarls and road detours, and ultimately we will all have better road networks and infrastructure, but thatís no justification for some workers to cheat the same law they say protects them. If thatís the case, then a motorist who is ticketed for driving above the posted construction zone speed limit should be able to argue that he was rushing to get home to his own family, and that by being with his children sooner, he is creating a stronger parental bond with them which will create a more self-assured and responsible next generation. He too is building a stronger infrastructure, a social one.
This write-up isnít about whining over speeding tickets, and even though St. Albert is the example, itís not really about one specific place ó itís about fairness for everyone who enjoys the right to drive. Itís about letting construction firms out there know that we see you. We see you and recognize your safety, and we see some of you snubbing your nose at the law. Being cautious, courteous and law-abiding will help to reduce unfortunate incidents in construction zones and on all roadways. But everyone ó including construction crews ó need to abide by those same rules. The signs say that speed fines double in a construction 'zone' ó that zone includes the dirty, dusty parts too, right?
The publisher of the Lac La Biche Post, Rob McKinley recently visited St. Albert.