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Letter: Slow down, people, lives are at stake

‘To expedite changes in driver mentality, I believe it would take a camera at almost every light in the city, but I realize this is not tenable’
typewriter pexels-min-an-1448709 (From Pexels by Min An)

It’s been a few days since the horrific vehicle accident at Barrydown/Lasalle

The story rattled me and has resulted in me assessing my own driving, which has been near flawless for 50 years. I have also found myself becoming more aware of other drivers racing up and down our streets like it’s the Sudbury 500. 

Today, I learned the city is installing red-light-running cameras at six intersections. A resounding applause … long overdue. 

Unfortunately, I cannot help but think with just six cameras addressing reckless driving at traffic lights that it will take eternity to effect a change in driving habits in Sudbury, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. 

It will not do a thing to slow drivers down in my opinion. 

Aggressive/careless driving has become shockingly common. I witnessed recent examples today. 

I was driving along Lasalle when I approached Paquette Street as the light changed to yellow. With plenty of time to react, I checked my rearview mirror and stopped. The car in the other lane sped up and raced through the yellow/red light.

I proceeded east and approached Auger Avenue where the light again turned yellow well before I arrived the intersection, so I did what I always do: check the rearview mirror and stop. Again, the car in the lane beside me sped up and raced through the yellow/red light. 

It gets worse. The second car in the lane behind me sped up even faster, well over the speed limit and blasted through the intersection. The light was red for at least two seconds before the car entered the intersection. 

Now, I admit, I have on occasion driven through a yellow light, but it has always been out of fear wondering if the car tailgating me would stop. We have been rear-ended three times so chock it up to paranoia. 

To expedite changes in driver mentality, I believe it would take a camera at almost every light in the city, but I realize this is not tenable. I was in Ottawa recently where they have implemented automatic ticketing cameras for speeding. 

I think speed is at the root of the intersection problem. Cars cannot stop safely going 10-20 km/hr over the speed limit. I am wondering if the city is looking into the aforementioned cameras? I believe speed-camera-automatic ticketing should be part of the solution. 

I’m silly to think words will do it, but I’ll say it anyway: Slow down people. Lives are at stake.

Al Thompson