We were talking to a paramedic the other day.
“People have to learn how to drive in this town,” he said.
He was angry. And with good reason.
While driving his ambulance he sees a lot of truly awful driving.
It puts his patients at risk, and him too.
Yukon drivers change lanes without putting on their blinkers.
Many don’t even shoulder check.
When making right turns onto Second Avenue, they immediately cross into the far-left lane, seemingly oblivious to oncoming traffic.
They race down Fourth Avenue.
They ride each other’s bumpers.
They accelerate through long-yellow lights.
They race traffic when turning left… his list goes on. And on.
Often, you can see people recklessly driving while talking on a cellphone, he adds.
As this is being written, it’s a particularly bad morning for traffic — the temperature is hovering around freezing and the roads are wet. A bad mix.
Are people prepared?
Some probably are. Clearly others aren’t.
This morning, there have been two significant traffic crashes requiring police, fire and ambulance.
We don’t know the circumstances. Just the result — sirens and traffic bedlam. We suspect there are injuries, but we hope not.
What we do know is that these things are almost always — 99.9 per cent of the time — a mixture of poor judgement, carelessness, distraction, speed, fatigue… and, as such, preventable.
Fact is, Whitehorse drivers are dangerous.
You are a dangerous driver.
We don’t care.
Somebody had to tell you, hopefully before you got behind the wheel.
See, it’s beyond time you started thinking about what you are doing when you drive.
Because far too many of us aren’t. (Richard Mostyn)
And one more thing…
If you live in Copper Ridge, odds are you’ve been caught in the 7:45 a.m. traffic jam.
People blame the road. The roundabout. The schools.
These people are wrong.
Most of the problem — perhaps 90 per cent of it — is the driving, noted a wise reader who called us this week.
Specifically, Copper Ridge, Logan and Granger drivers don’t know how to merge.
Maybe they forgot. Or, were never taught in the first place.
But those long lanes on Hamilton, like the one directly off Falcon, are for merging. You are supposed to drive down them, and slowly merge with the existing Hamilton traffic.
Yet again and again, we see people turn left into that lane and stop, leaving 200 metres of asphalt ahead of them and 400 metres of cars lined up behind them.
For God’s sake, stop it.
People, you are not jumping the queue if you drive down the merge lane. That’s what it is there for!
And existing Hamilton drivers, these people are not trying to screw you. They know what they are doing, and are driving properly.
So take a calming breath, slow down and let them in.
Be gracious, for heaven’s sake.
You’ll get the kids to school soon enough. And you won’t be late for work.
Not too late, anyway.
After all, this is Whitehorse. And the traffic jams are, at worst, 20-minute affairs. (Richard Mostyn)