With the recent changes to the excessive speeding laws in BC there has been loads of attention heaped on the few speed freaks who have been caught. As an example, last week the media were given a prime photo op when two motorcyclists were caught traveling at a high rate of speed through a construction zone on Highway 1. Both rider’s bikes were impounded and the police were able to puff out their collective chests and show how they had saved the people of Metro Vancouver from the menace that these speed-crazed demons posed.
Perhaps they did save us. And the facts are clear, there really is no need to travel at 160kmh through a construction zone. But I will tell you there are far more dangerous drivers on our roadways than these two bikers. You know who these people are? It is you and it is me.
Look down at your speedometer the next time you driving along a major four lane road in Metro Vancouver. A road like Lougheed Highway or Broadway or Hastings Street or 12th Ave. You might be surprised at what you see. Did you know that the speed limit on the vast majority of roads in Vancouver is 50kmh? That means that if you are traveling at 70kmh, like many, many of us do, you could be nabbed for speeding. If you are doing 80kmh, you are considered to be doing excessive speed. If you are caught doing 90kmh along Broadway you could receive a $368 fine and have your vehicle impounded for seven days.
Now before you tsk-tsk these speed-freaks, look at your own speedometer tomorrow morning as you are racing to drop the kids off at school. Then look at the speedo again as you are racing across town to get to work before the boss notices you are late again. You might be surprised at how fast you are actually traveling.
Before I step off my soap-box I will say it loud and clear; slow down. It is not only the high-profile speed freaks who get caught who are wreaking havoc on our streets. It is the soccer mom racing around in her van and the harried dad dropping the kids off at school. It is you and it is me.
Speed related injuries and deaths are some of the most easily preventable injuries and deaths. I know that I will be making an effort to slow down. I hope you do as well.