I have a big problem with what went on in Yorkton last Thursday and Friday with regards to the enforcement of traffic laws and the City RCMP. In my opinion, traffic offenses are not at an epidemic level here. Sure, we have young people flying up and down streets a little bit. But, if you wanted to curb that behavior, have a designated traffic cop or two set up in areas youth are known to frequent and start handing out speeding tickets. I went to work on Thursday morning and saw police vehicles out in full force and a number of civilian vehicles pulled over. I made the decision that day to stay off the road. I don’t need a ticket for doing 54 in a 50 or a stop sign ticket for stopping for what someone deems to be 2 seconds instead of 3. Or going through an amber light when someone else is of the opinion I should’ve hit the brakes. To me, it’s traffic policing by intimidation. You would think that with all the extra police officers brought in that Yorkton is a city where people are driving up and down Broadway at crazy speeds all hours of the day all week long. And, it’s just not the case.
On Friday, I drove home from work and between 2nd Avenue North and Circlebrooke Drive I saw three people pulled over. The pizza delivery man came to my door moments after I got home and said he had been randomly stopped and asked if he had been drinking. When he said ‘no’, he was allowed to continue on his way. This is too much.
If the city needs more tax revenue, I’d rather get a note in my mailbox asking for $100 donation.
A more productive use of resources would be to have a couple of officers at the traffic circle to issue tickets to those that still don’t know how to properly use it. And, maybe they could also make a judgement call as to whether someone doesn’t know how to use the circle, or is knowingly committing an offense. I’d also like to see educational check points at the areas of town where new speed limits have been put into place. Instead, those that are infrequent travelers on those stretches of road are easy prey for a tax donation. I live on Circlebrooke Drive and have volunteered my driveway to the RCMP to go after speeders who are going 70 km/h or more on that wide stretch of road. To my knowledge, I’ve never seen a speed trap on Circlebrooke.
For me, I like to see a strong police presence, don’t get me wrong. But that presence could be better served at times when the criminal element in Yorkton is higher than normal. I’m sure the RCMP has statistics as to when they make more arrests than usual. And, I don’t have anything against officers who have a specific job to target traffic offenses. But, bringing in the cavalry from other cities to have a big time blitz is not right. To me, if I was the type of person that spent my day committing violent offenses, I’d love seeing days like last Thursday and Friday because it means I have a free pass because they are not paying attention to me.
Last point on this: bringing in officers from other cities costs money, I would assume when you consider the mileage and possible overtime hours. It could cost even more money if, heaven forbid, someone was to dispute his/her ticket and a court hearing was needed. That officer then has to take time off from Regina or Saskatoon or wherever he/she is normally stationed to come to Yorkton and deal with a ticket. I just don’t get it.
There was a gymnastics meet at the Gallagher Centre over the weekend and much to my disbelief, I discovered that gymnastics parents and fans are worse at parking than Yorkton Terrier fans. Granted, I didn’t see any rows that were ‘three deep’, but I did see a complete unorganized group of about 40 vehicles in the parking lot north of the skate board park and there was absolutely nowhere to drive if you wanted to go up and down the aisle to see if there was an open stall. Of course, the plus side to this is that you can pretty much shut your vehicle off wherever you want and get out.
The Vancouver Canucks were bounced from the playoffs over the weekend and it appears as though Roberto Luongo’s time in Vancouver is over provided he lifts his no-trade clause and the Canucks can find someone to take on his salary. My thought is deal him to Tampa Bay for Vinny Lecavalier in a swap of big money contracts. Or, see if the Leafs will move Dion Phaneuf. Phaneuf isn’t worth what he makes and neither is Luongo; but Luongo would give Toronto what they really lack: a number one netminder. Phaneuf would fit in nicely with the Canucks as a number 3-4 guy.
Nice person mentions this week to Glenn Beaulieu, Sandy Zielinski, Ryan and Treasure Daneliuk, and Sheila Johnson.