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By Jordan W. Charness

Tickets, tickets, tickets: that seems to be all I have been hearing about these days. It’s true that during the month of May the police carried on a reasonably well-publicized vehicle safety campaign. During that time the police were particularly vigilant and cracked down on traffic offenders. It is part of an ongoing campaign to reduce automobile accident fatalities and get us used to driving properly once again.

There is a natural tendency for winter-battered Canadians to celebrate the arrival of spring with a more carefree attitude towards driving. After all, the snow, ice, and slush are finally gone from the streets and we can begin to drive our cars with a bit more vigour.

Unfortunately, the spring in our step often translates into a lead-footed approach to driving. We seem to feel that since the pavement is finally dry and we will not be slipping on the ice, we can drive as fast as we want to. May’s police safety campaign was to remind us that the law applies equally during all four seasons.

Peter, of course was not immune to spring fever. Although he wouldn’t be taking the sports car out from winter storage until at least the middle of May, he still managed to push his 4×4 over the speed limit on his way to work a few weeks ago. Whether it was because of the safety campaign or just because he was unlucky enough to be caught, Peter heard the familiar sound of sirens and saw police flashing lights in his rearview mirror.

He knew the drill. He signalled that he was pulling over to the right. He carefully checked his lanes to make sure that he would not cause an accident and slowed down coming to a stop in the breakdown lane on the side of the highway. He waited in his car for the police officer to finish his computer check of his license plate before coming over to him.

With a cordial smile, the cop asked Peter for his driver’s license and registration. Peter knew that he had been caught but reasoned that he was only going 10 km/h over the speed limit. He politely asked the police officer to give him a warning instead of a ticket.

The cop returned to his cruiser and checked out Peter’s license. It revealed a series of speeding tickets and the fact that Peter had accumulated eight demerit points out of the allowable 15. The cop figured that Peter had been warned enough and had been caught speeding too many times in the past. He gave him the ticket which included demerit points, a fine, and a surcharge.

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