It’s said that the more a message is repeated, the higher the likelihood that idea will be ingrained into a person’s memory while also becoming clearer.
Judging from a lot of the feedback received regarding the last two columns, along with seeing that another couple of incidents that took place in the past week, the message from those columns bears to be repeated.
Slow down, move over, give them room and pay attention to driving — that message can’t be reiterated enough when it comes to passing emergency roadside responders, be it fire trucks, ambulances, police or tow trucks.
There is yet another police officer within the last week — this one in Ontario — who is recovering after being injured when his vehicle at a collision scene was hammered by another vehicle.
In addition, from what a number of fellow first responders have told me recently, there continue to be too many close calls with traffic that can’t be bothered to obey the laws.
There’s been deaths, life-altering injuries and many other consequences for everyone involved — and many that weren’t even at the collision — so why is it still occurring?
Whether a lack of knowledge about what to do, a self-serving attitude behind the wheel or if it is simply a lack of caring or empathy toward other human beings, something needs to change.
Maybe the laws regarding passing collision scenes need to be pounded into everyone with a hammer. Maybe we need more traffic police officers so that one cruiser is available just to yank over those who refuse to comply.
Or maybe, there needs to be a measure of inconvenience for other road users for them to notice through closing down a highway and forcing a detour just to keep people safe.
Sure, that’s drastic and likely not plausible in some areas, but the question I ask you is this — Is reshaping the lives of others with potential tragic consequences worth the added 10, 20 or 60 seconds it takes to slow down, move over and pay attention to driving while passing these emergency response workers?
Here’s hoping this message doesn’t need to be repeated again next week.
Ground up mess
The final results were closer than most pundits and cattle group officials thought, to go along with some shock at just how many eligible voters didn’t show up to participate.
Slightly more than 1,800 cattle producers chose to take part in a plebiscite with 51 per cent voting to stay with the status quo, keeping the partially refundable check-off on cattle in Alberta, just one year after a majority of members of the Alberta Beef Producers being in favour of moving to a fully non-refundable provincial check-off.
While it could be that producers might have changed their minds, the more likely cause of the turn-around has to do with how this new plan was presented.
Last year, members were asked if they would support going to a non-refundable model, but with the added money being kept by the industry to support various research and other operations.
Yet, when it was announced just a few months ago that the majority of the retained extra cash would be placed into a development fund. While not a bad idea, things fell apart when officials couldn’t sufficiently explain to members how the fund would work.
Simply questions about what the money would be used for along with what kind of projects and work would be supported received answers that seemed to be either rehearsed or pulled out of the top of someone’s head. The fact that there were few, if any, real details available regarding the fund seemed to leave producers wondering if the idea had been thought through well enough.
Communication is key in getting out a message and if that comes out as garbled as ground beef, it usually goes down in flames.
It’s likely that alone may well have swayed enough votes to turn down the non-refundable option.
But that is…just an observation.