To the Editor:
More and more traffic seems to be traveling on Highway 34 between Highway 417 and the Ontario/Quebec bridge. Trucks of all sizes, with numerous tractor trailers.
Most truckers respect all traffic laws and etiquette regardless of their size, as well as dealing with slower moving farm vehicles, since we are a farming area. But the exception seems to be with commercial tractor-trailers who exceed posted speed limits and other regulations. They also are know to tailgate, leaving very little braking distances if any. This should be considered life endangerment.
I was shocked last week to see a tractor-trailer travel through the red traffic light at the Highway 34 and County Road 10 (Main Street) intersection without slowing down. Dangerous, reckless, life threatening? Definitely. Yet the majority of us put up with it.
Winter months create snow banks that narrow Highway 34, as well as all side streets and parking lots. Pedestrians and students who must walk on the roadside also face very dangerous conditions that increase during winter months. Should we, or any other town, tolerate this careless behavior and the MTO not addressing the safety needs, regardless of dangers that could cause deaths etc.
In Vankleek Hill, the speed limit for Highway 34 is posted at 50 kilometers per hour, which we all know is ignored, particularly by tractor trailers. Should our township council be demanding a drop in speed limits to 30 or 40 kilometres per hour to the province? We all know 30 km per hour would actually be interpreted as 50 by motorists, just as 50 now seems to be 70 to 90.
Tailgating is also a regular occurrence that many tractor trailers practice regularly. If a death occurred due to an accident this should be considered criminal.
How do we stop these immature behaviors? Install more traffic lights on Highway 34 inside town limits? Big rig truckers would simply ignore new traffic lights.
The OPP are tied up with many other issues and are not to blame. Our bureaucratic system is tying them up in paperwork. Do we again wait, as we seem accustomed and comfortable to do, until one or more individuals are killed and/or crippled? And then we can use our usual reaction to everything by saying “Oh well. What can we do? That’s the way it is” when we knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. In other words we accept this reckless lifestyle and behavior.
Do we care for our high school students and others who walk along Highway 34? They are exposed to these dangers regularly. Are we heading to a disposable human being society???