By Jordan W. Charness
This story comes direct to you from the “What the heck?” category. When I heard it I did not believe that it could possibly be true, and yet it was.
But before we get to the story, a little bit of background is in order. As of this writing, the island of Montréal is under siege, on that began almost 100 years ago in some cases, and has been compounded by years of neglect and money spent elsewhere.
Since the city of Montréal is an island, the only way to get onto or off of the island is by bridge or the one tunnel that exists. For southbound traffic to the south shore communities containing hundreds of thousands of people, as well as the main roads the United States, you have a choice of four bridges and one tunnel to get you there. The earliest of these bridges was built over a hundred years ago and even the most modern bridge is about 50 years old.
Needless to say, these bridges have performed admirably, considering that the number of cars using them has drastically increased in the past hundred years. The big problem, however, is that they are now falling apart. Two levels of governments are doing makeshift repairs to try to keep these bridges safe and functioning. In order to do so, two major bridges are pretty well out of commission for many days during the summer, the other two are not designed to handle such huge amounts of traffic, and the tunnel is in the middle of nowhere.
In addition to the bridge traffic woes, there are also dozens of other major construction projects closing streets and roads throughout the city for months at a time. Needless to say, bright orange construction cones are everywhere, blocking traffic and slowing you in going where you want to go.
Here’s where the story begins: a few days ago, it appears that some young driver took offense to the orange cones blocking his way. He seems to have decided that he could drive that blocked route, because it was the middle of the night and he figured that there was no real reason to have those construction cones up there in the first place.
He got out of his car and moved the construction safety cones out of his way. He then took off down the highway at his usual clip, and drove smack into the back of a construction vehicle. This caused a lot of damage to equipment, his car and himself.
It doesn’t take a trained lawyer to realize that what he did was illegal and, not to mention, stupid. Construction zones are to be taken seriously and you must drive in them using extreme caution. In many of the United States, fines are doubled if you speed in construction zones, and many provinces in Canada are following this rule as well.
Ignoring construction zones and moving safety cones out of the way causes a danger to both yourself and other drivers who may pass along behind you. Even if no accident had resulted, this type of action would no doubt have likely lead to a criminal charge of mischief being laid against this young driver.
As it turned out, a charge of mischief was the least of this guy’s worries. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, and when the police searched his car they found a fair amount of illegal drugs as well.
Like I said, I never would have believed it had it not been true. After all, moving cones while driving drunk and carrying contraband drugs is really not something you hear about every day.