The gover­nor got one thing right

The Compass - - OPINION -

The ver­bose, of­ten sharp-tongued, no-holds-barred Lt.Gov. John Crosbie is known as a man never at a loss for words.

At many times dur­ing his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer, he made com­ments many peo­ple were less than en­thu­si­as­tic about hear­ing.

But ear­lier this month, Lt. Gov. Crosbie made one re­mark that many New­found­lan­ders, es­pe­cially those who drive, should not dis­agree with.

He said when it comes to our prov­ince’s high­ways, he had more to fear from New­found­land driv­ers than from moose.

At a re­cent speak­ing event, he asked au­di­ence mem­bers if they were in dan­ger from moose, or from driv­ers.

He then went on to say he was re­cently on the high­way, where an­other ve­hi­cle cut off the car in which he was a pas­sen­ger.

And you know what? Lt. Gov. Crosbie is right. And he prob­a­bly isn’t the first to make that ob­ser­va­tion. Lis­ten to traf­fic re­ports on the ra­dio from St. John’s where the an­nouncer de­scribes driv­ing con­di­tions on the Outer Ring Road. There are no short­age of col­li­sions and close calls, very few in­volv­ing moose.

The next time you’re driv­ing on the Trans-Canada High­way or its as­so­ci­ated trunk roads, drive de­fen­sive and ob­serve your fel­low mo­torists. And note how much they are en­dan­ger­ing them­selves or their fel­low driv­ers.

One wa­ter-cov­ered trip down the TCH, for ex­am­ple, fea­tured a speed­ing driver in­sis­tent on pass­ing his fel­low mo­torists, come hell or high wa­ter.

Not only was the driver ex­ceed­ing the speed limit, he was weav­ing in and out of traf­fic to pass his fel­low driv­ers even when there wasn’t a pass­ing lane!

Imag­ine if he was do­ing so if the driver in the other lane, driv­ing in the other di­rec­tion, was be­hind a mon­strous 18wheeler. Well, buddy, in­er­tia isn’t go­ing to save you this time. Try to stop to avoid the big truck, and it’s likely you will end up as a pile of flesh that has to be scraped off the wind­shield.

A num­ber of New­found­lan­ders who move away and then come home, ei­ther to visit or for good, have made observations sim­i­lar to Lt. Gov. Crosbie’s.

We’re not great driv­ers. Too many of us drive way too fast, and with­out con­sid­er­a­tion.

Driv­ing well above the speed limit is not a good idea. There’s a rea­son why we have speed lim­its in the first place, not just be­cause it’s against the law.

It’s to check the ten­den­cies of those who feel the “need for speed.” When you speed, par­tic­u­lary at very high lev­els, you are han­dling a pow­er­ful ma­chine and when you’re speed­ing at 170 km/hour or more, it is a lot eas­ier to lose con­trol of that ma­chine.

Race car driv­ers can tes­tify to that. Just watch a NASCAR, For­mula One or even the Targa races, and you’re bound to see a wipe-out. When you’re driv­ing a ve­hi­cle, you are in con­trol of an im­pla­ca­ble ma­chine, one that gives no quar­ter, one that doesn’t care if you live or die.

And by the way, it’s harder to watch out for moose when you’re speed­ing. And even harder to swerve around them at those lev­els.

So Lt. Gov. Crosbie is right. New­found­land driv­ers are much more trou­ble than moose. Slow down, en­joy the drive and save a life, in­clud­ing your own.

By Renell Le­Grow, The Advertiser

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