By Jordan W. Charness
I got a letter from Peter the other day. No, not that Peter; this Peter is different from the one whose exploits you read about so often in this column. I guess being named Peter just seems to give you an extra chance of having something fascinating to share with my readers.
The letter read as follows:
“I enjoy reading your column very much even if this friend of yours, named Peter is featured prominently usually getting into some sort of jam!
Mr. Charness, I’ll get to the point of my letter. Recently I drove to St. John, New Brunswick for a vacation. I usually take Highway 20 eastbound. I was approaching Levis, Québec when a car I was following suddenly slowed down to the point where I had to take evasive action by switching lanes to avoid him.
The reason he slowed down so suddenly was that he spotted a motorcycle police officer along side of the road pointing a radar gun at oncoming traffic. I’ve noticed that a lot of people do this when they spot any type of police officer be it municipal, provincial, or even the RCMP. People have a tendency to slow down when they see a police officer even when they are not driving all that quickly.
My question, Mr. Charness, using myself as an example – or rather that action I took as an example – if, let’s say, I had no room to maneuvre out of the way and I ended up hitting the car ahead of me, would I have been exonerated if I could prove the following?
The reason that I had to swerve was the fact that the driver ahead of me suddenly spotted a police officer and even more suddenly slowed down and was the real cause of the accident. The way I look at it, the police officer is partially at fault and should face sanctions.