13.5 C
Niagara Falls
Saturday, September 30, 2023
Editorial: Slow down, you’re moving too fast
The Lake Report's weekly editorial. File

It’s September and that means a lot of things, but especially it means that children are back at school.

You’d think that as a society – and since we were all kids ourselves once – we would not need a regular reminder that speeding in school zones, passing school buses stopped to pick up or drop off students and general boorish behaviour on the roads isn’t to be tolerated.

But it seems some people didn’t get the memo.

Across Niagara Region on Tuesday, police wrote 176 speeding tickets  — just in school zones where radar enforcement was set up. Imagine how many other speeders elsewhere were not caught that day.

Those tickets amount to a bit of a financial windfall for the justice system – and a hit to the wallets of those caught violating the Highway Traffic Act. But it could have been a lot bigger as officers also handed out more than 50 warnings.

The department didn’t break down how many of those incidents occurred in Niagara-on-the-Lake, but we expect area drivers earned their fair share of unwanted attention from the local constabulary.

Deputy Chief Brett Flynn was on the scene in Virgil at Crossroads Public School overseeing the department’s 23rd annual post-Labour Day traffic safety blitz.

Having such a senior officer involved in the program is an indicator of how serious the Niagara police take the first day back at school. And how necessary it is.

If only Niagara Regional Police could spare the officers to more often visit NOTL to keep an eye on speeders, ridiculously noisy motorcycles and drivers in need of some remedial education about how to conduct themselves on the highways and byways. But that’s a whole other issue.

Sadly, it seems, driver re-education needs to be extended far and wide.

On Tuesday during the blitz, not far away in St. Catharines, the driver of a school bus – and, yes, children were on board – was clocked going 72 km/h in a 50 km/h community safety zone (where fines are doubled).

Not a good look nor a good idea, even if the driver and his students were running late for day one of the school year. It was 8:58 a.m.

We’ve all likely been guilty of exceeding the speed limit, sometimes intentionally, but too often it’s really because we’re all just in such a hurry to get where we feel we have to be.

What’s that say about the world we live in?

Also in St. Catharines on Tuesday, a 79-year-old school crossing guard was seriously injured after she was struck by a pickup truck that had collided with another vehicle. That second driver fled the scene.

We can only hope for the best for the injured woman, but we’ve seen so many of these hit-and-run cases – including several in recent years in NOTL – we are continually baffled how any driver figures they can get away with it in this era of smartphones and security cameras.

That’s over and above the fact that staying at the scene is simply the right – and legal – thing to do.

 So, where does this all leave us?

As a society – and individuals – we would be so much better off to slow down a wee bit, figuratively and literally. Stop and smell the roses. Dial it back a bit. Enjoy life.

So, you’re stuck behind a school bus or running a bit late. Will the two minutes you might save really make all the difference?

Subscribe to our mailing list