I live in a neighbourhood where an anguished woman’s wail (and the subsequent clattering of a freshly used knife dropping to the pavement) interrupt my tortured, acrobatic sleep once a month. Within five days of moving in, bored teens stole my semi-functional car before ditching it, flat tires and bumperless, outside of a Native Reserve by Okotoks. I’m approached regularly for drugs and have been offered the sexual services of tubby woman in a belly shirt in exchange. The moment a semi-attractive woman offers me such a deal, I’ll find a pound biker crank quicker than Nicky Barnes. Every time my girlfriend leaves my house after sunset, I have to cover her from a sniper nest on my roof as she gets in her car. And I’m ok with all of this. I have no problems living around drugs, inflation-resistant prostitutes and the lingering threat of drunken cowboys braining me with a beer bottle on my way home from Safeway. What I do have a problem with is that on the inevitable day I’m held up at knifepoint by a biker strung out on meth, the police won’t waste their time trying to catch him unless he does an illegal U-turn post-robbery or brags about his haul on his fucking cell phone while merging onto 17th.
If you, like me, wonder exactly where your tax dollars are allocated in respects to law enforcement and crime prevention, the answer lies in the weekend’s paper. While the drug dealers, thieves and machete-weilding Sudanese stalk the streets of Forest Lawn, the Calgary Police Department is chasing a viler form of evil. Drivers. Banditry and violence struck our roads and highways this weekend but fear not as the trusty RCMP was on the case:
Enforcement of Alberta’s new distracted driving legislation began this morning as some drivers learned the hard way to hang up the phone.
The legislation prohibits such distractions as talking on a hand-held cellphone, texting, grooming, eating or programming a GPS. Infractions of the law, which came into effect today, come with a $172 fine.
RCMP spokesman Sgt. Patrick Webb said officers aren’t out there specifically looking for distracted drivers
“They’re making themselves obvious. . . . As soon as we see it, they’re getting a ticket, just like someone not wearing a seatbelt or speeding,” said Webb.
Please make sure your children are in a different room before reading the following heinous crime:
RCMP say some of the weekend’s most notable infractions included a Fort McMurray driver trying to reverse out of a parking stall while holding a cup of ice cream in one hand and talking on a cellphone he held in the other.
At last I can crawl from beneath my deck now that the Ice Cream Cone Outlaw has been brought to justice. The streets are, at last, safe.
Not one to rest on their laurels, police hassled several other hardened criminals
Calgary traffic section Insp. Dean Lagrange said he pulled over three or four vehicles for distracted driving infractions. People were texting, drinking coffee and talking on a hand-held cellphone. All got warnings.
Ladies and gentlemen we are in dire straits as a society when these heathens – immigrants probably – are sipping from a coffee cup while behind the wheel.
Seriously, the new distracted driving laws are garbage. Bad enough, the incompetent police force is using these distracted driving laws (in my humble, schizophrenic opinion) to penetrate deeper into our private lives (more on this in a second) but such laws also completely useless at preventing, or even reducing, car accidents.
According to Alberta Transportation’s 2010 Alberta Traffic Collision Statistics, from 2007 to 2010, traffic accidents have declined by 25%. Read that again. Accidents are declining on their own. Every year. Do you think that just maybe Albertans are intelligent enough to resist the temptation to give themselves a full cut and colour in the rearview mirror while driving 120 km/h down Stoney Trail? Or that men driving past the Mount Royal woman’s soccer team’s afternoon stretches will control themselves instead of busting out the jojoba oil and abusing themselves at the intersection?
If you’re wondering why we would pass a law to try to make something safer that is already getting safer on its own, and that also has shown no previous evidence it even succeeds at its own directive, I’ve got your answer:
1. Tailing 63-year-old retired school teachers for ten minutes to catch her switching lanes without signalling is making money, yes, but the City could still be making more.
2. Cops can now tear through every minority’s car in search of drugs and weapons under the pretext of him rolling through a stop sign. It’s become obvious that the police are now more than incapable of real police work and this law allows yet another shortcut to arrest while skirting probable cause.
Just in case you still thought they were doing this for Albertan’s safe, police officers can give tickets out at their own discretion and drivers will not accumulate demerit points. In terms of safety I would feel better knowing bad drivers would lose their licences instead of filling precinct coffers.
I need to move.