July 12th, 2024

Noteworthy: Photo radar only bothers those who refuse to drive safely

By Bruce Penton on June 12, 2024.

I’m a fan of photo radar. There, I’ve said it.

That the idea of accelerating unnecessarily on the streets of Medicine Hat could result in an expensive ($100 or more) ticket arriving a week later in the mailbox is enough to make me constantly aware of my vehicle’s speed. When one considers that it takes no more than 15 minutes to get from one side of Medicine Hat to another, there should be little reason to risk danger to other drivers, cyclists, pedestrians or your wallet by speeding.

A recent Time Magazine story said auto accidents and crash-related fatalities are increasing in the U.S., while the issuance of tickets is down. A connection? Probably. Drivers almost instinctively hit the brake, or at least take their foot off the gas pedal, when they see a police vehicle, whether it’s outfitted with radar equipment or not.

In a perfect world, drivers would do more than just try to avoid speeding tickets. They should drive with safety and caution in mind at all times. Your life would change in an instant if some youngster not paying attention darted onto the street chasing a ball while you were going a bit too fast to stop in time.

This, of course, is a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ rant because, yes, of course, I’ve had speeding tickets through the years. But not very many. And fewer and fewer as I get older and, presumably, wiser behind the wheel.

• The big ‘watergate’ story from Calgary last week offers a sobering reminder to Hatters and everybody else in the world who take water availability at the turn of a tap for granted. It’s such a precious resource, certainly more valuable than oil.

I happened to be in Calgary on Monday afternoon and around 4 p.m., three Calgary police cars raced down Sarcee Trail, sirens wailing. A traffic accident? An armed robbery? Maybe somebody just reported a neighbour was watering his lawn.

• Now that we’re finally getting some decent, summer-like weather, it’s a good idea to remind people of the importance of applying sunscreen. Even having one sunburn, skin experts say, can increase the chance of skin cancer. And if you’ve had four or five sunburns in your lifetime, chances of getting melanoma, the most serious of skin cancers, are doubled. In my circle of golf friends, I’d estimate the number of people who use sunscreen regularly is less than 25 per cent.

• Have you ever wondered what the world’s five largest populated metro areas are? Here’s some inconsequential information to provide the answer: 5. Manila, Philippines, 25 million; 4. Shanghai, China, 26.9 million; 3. Jakarta, Indonesia, 29.8 million; 2. Delhi, India, 30.1 million; 1. Tokyo, Japan, 36.5 million. No. 6, by the way, is Seoul, South Korea. (Thanks, yahoo.com).

• I assumed The Post would always be around because people love bargains, and love having a place to donate unwanted items still in useable condition. Like the old refrain about garage sales: “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” So it was rather a shock to see The Post, a thrift store operated by the Southeast Alberta region of the Canadian Mental Health Association, close its doors late last fall.

Now, however, a reasonable facsimile has appeared on the Medicine Hat horizon, this time called the Y Treasure Thrift Store but located in the same spot as The Post, on Third Street SE. The store will be operated as its predecessor was, with proceeds going to support the YMCA’s youth and employment programs.

• The biggest news story of the year, in North America, at least, has been the Donald Trump trial and the CNN coverage following the 34 guilty verdicts had analysts discussing how the sentencing might unfold. He won’t be going to jail, of course, because he’s too famous and too powerful, but one commentator said he could be sentenced to serve time on weekends, or “community service – for example, picking up trash in the subway.”

Seeing Donald Trump picking up trash in the subway, surrounded by his secret service detail, might be more humiliating for Trump than being fitted for an orange jumpsuit and spending time in the slammer.

Appeals, appeals and more appeals, however, will stretch out the conclusion of this story at least a year or two.

• Short snappers: Coca-Cola is the most popular soft drink in the U.S., but Dr. Pepper recently replaced Pepsi in the No. 2 spot. … Costco has a new chief financial officer but he’s on the record as saying the chain’s popular $1.50 price for a hot dog and soft drink won’t be changed. … Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, 93, was married for the fifth time June 1 to a 67-year-old Russian-born molecular biologist, and writer Steve Burgess of Vancouver quipped that, “You don’t get wedding invitations from Rupert Murdoch, you buy season tickets.”

Bruce Penton is a retired News editor who may be reached at brucepenton2003@yahoo.ca

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Fedup Conservative
Fedup Conservative
29 days ago

Eliminating it will force us to pay more for police officers to replace it and more in property taxes to replace the revenue benefits it brings in, won’t it?