Automatic penalties for speeding
I have an inexpensive easy enforced plan that would make the Malahat a little safer.
All that would be needed is checkpoints equipped with cameras at both ends of the Malahat to record the licence plate numbers and time a vehicle passed the checkpoint. Anyone arriving at the other checkpoint before the average time it takes to drive this stretch of highway would be guilty of a speeding offence and putting other vehicle drivers and their passengers in jeopardy.
These high-risk drivers would have their driving privileges on the Malahat suspended for up to a month and have to take one of the three alternate routes: The Mill Bay ferry, the Swartz Bay to Fulford Harbour to Vesuvius to Crofton combination, or if push comes to shove, the longer, more expensive, Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen to Duke Point option.
There is no better established rule of law enforcement than that the certainty of punishment is the only deterrent guaranteed to curb illegal behaviour.
Make it tougher to get, keep drivers licences
Forty years ago, when the Malahat was a two-lane highway with only two sections of passing lane on the climb and cars had hard, slippery tires, dodgy brakes and indifferent steering and road holding, you pulled away from the Tillicum/Island Highway intersection and the speed limit went to 50 mph (80 km/h).
It continued this way until you reached the top of Tunnel Hill where it went to 60 mph (96 km/h). It continued at this rate until you reached the two blocks of Mill Bay. Now you travel at 80 km/h until the bottom of Tunnel Hill where it drops to 70 km/h until you crest that hill, where it resumes 80 km/h until you get to the north slope of the Bamberton grade where it finally gets all the way to 90 km/h.
The road and cars have been vastly improved, so one can only suppose that it is the drivers who have deteriorated. It appears to be official policy to sell road access through license and insurance fees to as many people as possible, regardless of their inability to drive, and then cover it over with over enforcement of ultra-low standards of driving.
This may work, but only so far, and it does encourage the unskilled drivers to think they must be good because no one is allowed to drive any better (quicker) than they are. We have legions of drivers who havent the faintest idea what their cars capabilities and limitations are because they have never had to show that they do.
We are already getting crashes by people who cant tell the accelerator from the brake and cannot react appropriately when they mix them up. When drivers capabilities start to degrade through age or medical conditions its almost impossible for concerned family to get them to stop.
Perhaps if officialdom would treat a drivers license as a certificate of skill rather than a receipt for the fees paid then perhaps the situation on the Malahat will start to improve.
In Cuba, doctors need second jobs
Cuba should be commended for the excellent health care provided for its citizens. However, one of the main reasons Cuba is able to do it at such a low cost is due to the low salaries paid doctors.
Many doctors supplement their incomes by renting out rooms in their homes to tourists or actually working in the well-paying tourist industry.
Keep the old Craigflower bridge
Rather than tearing down the Craigflower bridge, disturbing the delicate irrigation beds and closing it to all traffic including school children, for six months or more, an alternative solution exists.
Install a parallel bridge structure to the north. Property a few metres from the bridge is available and government owned.
Leave the old bridge for recreational fishing and a small boat launch.
John S. Phillion
Culling deer means a greater loss
We took their habitat and now we will take their lives. Cruel and disgusting. Beautiful British Columbia? Sadly, no longer.
Worry about people, not deer
Re: Deer cull means horrific death, Jan. 5
I believe more than one per cent of the population is concerned about deer problems.
What a sad commentary on todays society that people are willing to yell and scream about the lives of some over-populated animals and yet we have human beings begging on our streets due to substance abuse and/or homelessness, and we just look away or mutter get a job. And lets not forget about the working poor who cant make ends meet and must rely on the Mustard Seed Food Bank despite having full-time jobs.
I am more concerned about the plight of my own species.
I say, feed the homeless, kill a deer.
Hockey no longer Canadas game
Canadians should stop calling hockey their game. Results show its not. Not even showing Paul Hendersons goal again and again can do it. Hockey belongs to all who play it and all who enjoy watching it and love it.
The sporting jingoism is beginning to grate. I love hockey but its time for a little realism in sport and love of country.
Simple solution to trapped equipment
Re: Pakistan blocks exit of Canadian war supplies, Jan. 5
If it is true that the only things left are tents and other equipment, I have a suggestion.
Lets donate what articles we can to the poor in Pakistan and then blow the rest of the stuff to kingdom come.
This will accomplish three things. It will help the poor. It will save us the cost of shipping the material back to Canada and save the huge amount of tariffs that Pakistan government will levy on us. That money saved could buy newer equipment here in Canada.
Lastly, it will show this enemy nation that Canada cannot be blackmailed. For whether the politicians want to admit it, Pakistan is an enemy and, worse, an enemy that is controlled by the military and has nuclear weapons.
More equality would help society
The article Everywhere you look youll pay more in 2012 gave us a heads-up on the increases we can expect in 2012. I accept that it is good to pay my fair share of taxes but it must be said that these increases will hit lower income folks in a very direct way.
We have been reading a lot lately about inequality everywhere, with the rich getting much richer and the poor, well, you know. I also read an article last week about the perks enjoyed by some health system executives in Ontario, such as $5,000 a year for club fees and cosmetic surgery; $12,000 a year for a car allowance; $3,500 for golf club fees, and so on,
These perks are now being clawed back, along with some decreases in salary, because it is now mandatory in that province to reveal total payment packages for executives, not just the salary. I would bet we have a lot of gravy going to upper income people in this province as well.
There is ample evidence that more equal societies work much better. Might there be some connection between the fact that we have one of the highest poverty rates in the country and our presence on the list of the ten cities in the country with the most crime?
Calendar reform is not a new idea
So, once again calendar reform rises . This latest proposal offers no advantage that was not originally proposed by August Compte, an early socialist, in 1849 and was put much more simply.
This was to have 13 months of four weeks each for 364 days, the extra day would have no day of the week designation and could be called World Day. Leap years would have a Leap Day. The new month could be placed between the present mid-June and mid-July and give us a longer summer.
It would offer many commercial and accounting advantages although the superstitious objected to the number 13 even though there would never again be a Friday the 13th.
The first day of the week would be Monday so the 13th would always be a Saturday and God would be seen as resting from his labours more appropriately on the last day of the week rather than the first, as now seems to be the case.
There was a movement to institute it the 1930s but that organization that could not prevent Mussolini from slaughtering the Ethiopians, The League of Nations, rejected it.
Pope Gregory, where were you when we needed you? In our increasingly fractured world it is doubtful that it will ever be adopted.
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