Just An Observation: Driving in Canada more ugly than seen on TV

Poor oversight, licencing practices and training contributing to continuing road deaths

There are a few programs on television that really show the good, the bad and the ugly of what’s on this country’s highways.

Much of what is depicted on these ‘reality’ programs is only a small sample of what occurs on both sides of the median.

Speaking first on the positive side, at least a couple of these shows illustrate the wonderful work responders do at road accident scenes on a daily basis. They also portray that there are many motorists who obey the rules, plus also appreciate the job being done.

Unfortunately, much of what is displayed paints a picture of an uncaring, too connected, me-first, rushed and completely oblivious driving public.

Far too often, the shows are witness to drivers who don’t know the simplest of driving rules, are unable to produce a shred of basic driving skills, exhibit extremely aggressive behaviour to go along with reckless speed and carelessness.

From the constant use of electronics behind the wheel and the seeming need to do something other than focus on driving, to having the attitude of feeling the road is theirs to use regardless of anyone else’s safety, the programs expose the underbelly of Canada’s severe lack of oversight with regards to drivers getting a licence.

How bad are the various driving schools, instructors, test evaluations and written exams when you view these drivers on these shows then find out they have gone through many hours of instruction and got their licence within the past few years?

All of these shortcomings were demonstrated last week, when yet another firefighter was hit while lending assistance at a traffic collision.

That makes three incidents — two of which were fatal — in only the last couple of weeks. Fortunately, the latest coming from Manitoba has the firefighter making a recovery from relatively minor injuries.

As I stated previously, until drivers know and can obey the laws surrounding passing active collision scenes, it’s time to completely close the road while work is being done. That way, it’s safe for everyone and people will be able to go home at the end of the day.

While it would be best for all drivers to pay attention and act according to the laws set down, alas I think the chance of that happening — given what I have seen lately — is about as possible as pipelines getting built for Alberta.

But that is…just an observation.

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