A single law makes much more sense

Anyone familiar with me knows I am leery of too much government interference in anything. I’d rather practice bleeding than have government interfere too much with my daily life.

In the case of school zone speed limits in Alberta, however, what is going on makes absolutely no sense. Each municipality can pass its own bylaw. Motorists can be ordered to slow down all day or part of each day, with times starting whenever each council decides. The chart on this page shows a small sample starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m.

As Town of High Prairie Councillor Debbie Rose stated at council’s Jan. 14 meeting, it is confusing.

Why is there not one law? Realizing that cities are a bit different than rural areas, the differences are not so great that it warrants a different law.

Councillor Michael Long uses the argument that, “We’re potentially saving a child’s life.”

Sometimes, the argument is used in illogical circumstances but not here. There is no great cost nor any great hardship in reducing speed limits all day in school zones.

There will be the usual whining with the eventual change in High Prairie.

“Peace officers will hide behind trees ready to catch me!”

“The law is different in such and such a town. Why here?”

“I didn’t see the sign!”

“Don’t you have anything more important to do?”

“It’s just a cash cow to generate revenue. Leave us alone!”

And it goes on and on and on.

At any time when traffic bylaws are changed, fines increased, enforcement blitzes occur, there is one important fact all motorists forget far too often.

It is not a right to drive, it is a privilege granted by the Province of Alberta. Pure and simple!

If you don’t like the laws, don’t drive!

If you don’t like photo radar, slow down!

If you don’t like the new speed zones, either take the long way around or slow down.

Yes, it can be a pain in the derriere but isn’t it a lot less stressful in one’s life to just slow down instead of complain all day?

The only mistake town council has done so far in changing its bylaw is it should be lobbing the provincial government to make one law for all Alberta. This process can be started by bringing a resolution to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association conference. From there, momentum should pick up steam.

And would it pass? Very likely. Alberta Transportation almost never opposes a suggestion to have lower speed limits or expanded hours in school zones. The reason is simple: it makes it safer not only for pedestrians but also for motorists.

I would suggest High Prairie take the lead on this matter to avoid what many already agree is a confusing situation.

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