WebStamp May 16, 2018

Modernized Traffic Acts Needed

As Summer begins the roads become busier as people travel about to enjoy the great outdoors and brush off the cabin fever. Bicycles and motorcycles also come out of hibernation. These smaller vehicles are less visible to drivers inside automobiles and are prone to higher collision incidences this time of year. Just recently we had several motorcycle collisions, where one driver perished from his injuries. Many drivers lack the proper training to drive safely and competently with current outdated licensing regulations in the 21st Century.

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  Today we have many more vehicles that are faster and equipped with many new distracting gadgets. Drivers are also distracted by conversing with passengers, cell phones, construction, traffic distribution incidences, and incompetent drivers. On the road, we also have to deal with many drivers that have developed bad driving habits, either learned from family and friends or just being lazy. I am talking about improper signalling, following too close, cutting corners, and slow drivers holding up traffic in the left lane.

With many professions where the safe operation of large machinery, one needs training and experience to properly operate them.  Before you become a pilot, you require hours of training before you are allowed to operate an airplane. Why are there no rules on the proper education and operation of motor vehicles encouraging drivers to pay full attention to their driving? We can avoid many traffic tragedies, such as the Humboldt Bronco’s bus crash, caused by an unexperienced truck driver failing to properly cross a highway lacking the experience that comes with proper operation and safety training.

In the Netherlands, for an individual to get a license one must take 6 months of lessons before being allowed to take a driver’s test. If you fail, you will need to take another 6 months of lessons before you are permitted to take the driver’s test again. Not yielding to a cyclist fails you immediately. Similar procedures and rules are required in Canada to help calm today’s traffic mayhem. Defensive training and handling emergency maneuvers should also be included the training. Shortly after I got my license, I practised controlling skidding in ice and snow. This has actually helped over the years in controlling several situations where without the proper knowledge my car would most likely have skidded out of control.       

 The automobile industry is taking a proactive approach to encouraging safe driving by adding many safety features, such as lane-departure-warning, auto-cruise, etc. providing warnings and overriding driving functions in an emergency as with the automatic-emergency-braking. Many drivers are aware of many basic rules but lack the knowledge of the many rarely used ones. Driving a vehicle today is much more complicated than in the past and much more training is required to properly operate one and navigate it safely in traffic.

In the meantime, while the Government dawdles, as usual, all drivers can brush up on all current traffic rules and regulations and unlearn bad driving habits. Go to Alberta Government Transportation website once or twice a week and bone-up on Alberta traffic procedures.  If you have an issue with merging onto a highway, like Deerfoot, then do your research, watch some YouTube on merging, and then go out and practise until you get the hang of it.

Make the M.A.D. Move by improving the way you drive. If everyone drove as they should there would less traffic turmoil, tragedy, and wasted time getting around in traffic. Of course, we still have to deal with the traffic lights, something we will tackle again in the future. For your May Long Weekend Getaway have a safe journey, drive safe and pay attention to your driving above all distractions. Better yet, skip the travel and have Staycation and support the local economy.  

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Marinus (René) Verschuren
Marinus (René) Verschuren
Founder of WebStamp
René has been involved in the publishing and printing industry since the 1970s. He has published and distributed a successful 24-page weekly news advertiser with a circulation of 4400 copies. Also for the last 20 years, he has been a printer, plotter, scanner and 3D printer technician and installer. Since High School, he also has worked as a janitor, cabinet maker, building construction, landscaper/designer, computer operator producing microfiche, graphic artist, and webmaster, among many other professions. This qualifies him as a Jack-of-All-Trades with plenty of knowledge in many subjects.
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