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    Monday, October 23, 2006

    I shot the Sheriff

    Stardate 6574.18

    For a long time now, I have complained about how speed on Alberta (and other places) highways is killing us, and creating a brutally dangerous environment for commuters. I am not one to cruise at 2 km/h under the limit mind you, but I tend to use a little judgement and would never consider excessive speeding to the extent I have seen around here. On Highway 2A, which both me and my wife commute each day to and from work, the posted limit is 80 km/h. A few months ago, I would place the average speed at around 95 or 100km/h. In fact, sometimes, travelling that fast OVER the limit wasn't good enough for some people, who would stick to your ass like a huge piece of cat hair, or go blowing by you at the first stretch of clear road. Highway 2 (Queen Elizabeth II Highway) was worse. It is posted at 110km/h (I think it shoul dbe raised to 120) and I would guess the average speed is OVER 130km/h on it. Again, even travelling at a speed that is at least 15 km/h over the limit, people blow by you as if you aren't even moving.

    Now many people have no problems with speed like this, and will rant on about maintaining the flow, and new safety features in cars, and this and that. The fact is, none of this makes your reflexes as a driver any better, and only a few km/h difference in speed can make the difference between a fatal collision and an injury collision.

    A few months ago, the Alberta government hired and trained 21 Sheriffs, responsible for maintaining the razor thin control the police have over some of these secondary highways. With the primary 21 working, and an additional 21 now joining them, I have noticed several things. First, there is an actual enforcement presence on the roads, and secondly, people are actually slowing down somewhat! For example, the 95km/h drive home on the highway posted at 80km/h is now more like an 85km/h drive home, with little to no pressure from people riding your ass, or passing like fools. I imagine there will always be those few who insist that they are in more of a hurry and far more important than you and simply must speed, but I think it is actually working.

    The best part besides the fact that I feel safer, is that I am really takign no longer to get to work, or home in the evening. Makes sense to me. Keep hiring these guys. They are doing great!

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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