Aggressive driving a concern for Prince Edward County

Just a few weeks ago, I witnessed an unmarked cruiser pull over a motorist in front of my home. The officer later told me that he clocked her going 105kph in a 50kph zone! Unfortunately, this is not unusual for this stretch of road going through Northport – it is a very good road – likely one of the best in The County. I wish it were different. I would gladly have a gravel road with a few pot holes to slow the traffic. I know that this saying is an old and boring one, but it is none the less true – “it is only a matter of time before someone gets killed.” It will happen – have no doubt about it and all the apologies and tears won’t help.

More recently, we have heard of road rage in the county, where one driver followed the other into the No-Frills parking lot and drove at him when he got out of his car. We also heard about a motorcycle and car colliding resulting in serious injuries for two people and about a pedestrian getting hit in both Picton and Wellington. These events don’t fit with the image of Prince Edward County. The point that I am trying to make is that aggressive driving is a huge problem in this county – and it is not just a tourist problem. I can’t remember a trip into town when I haven’t experienced some jerk tailgating me. I’m not driving slowly, but obviously they want me to go faster, in excess of the speed limit – this is their way of bullying, I have no right to be in front of them so they think – I refuse to comply. Instead of pulling out to pass, they ride my tail – when they are so close that I can’t see their head lights in my rear mirror is when I get angered. What idiots and ignoramuses! These drivers are going to hurt people, and yet how often do they give the dirty look when they finally speed by, as if they were in the right all along?

This problem is too big for our police force to handle on its own – we need to help them. I believe our council also needs to show leadership with this issue of dangerous driving by identifying it as a priority for this community and to initiate a “Safer Roads” campaign. There are also traffic calming devices that should be considered – like what the municipality of Clarington has done by placing three upright reflector signs – one on either side of a road and one on the middle line – making the lanes appear narrower (but they are not) – resulting in traffic slowing down to get through. A pretty inexpensive solution to a problem.

The problem of aggressive driving is real and it makes our neighbourhoods and life in The County very unsafe and unpleasant. And let’s be honest, local residents are just as guilty as tourists. If driving aggressively is really how you want to live, then you should move – there is no place for it here! It is totally unnecessary and dangerous – and yes, it is only a matter of time before someone is killed. It is our problem and only we can solve it.

Dennis Fox