Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Musings at 140km/h: Fuck the OPP, Fuck the MTO

I was driving down the 401 just outside Toronto, doing 140km/h with everyone else.  I got to thinking about how frustrating it is that the police know full well that everyone drives this fast, and yet do virtually nothing about it.  The thing is, I don't want to them to start enforcing MORE, I want them to stop pretending they give a shit.
We all know the drill: driving from Ottawa to Montreal or Toronto, it's totally cool to go 125km/h or so and you're golden, unless it's a long weekend, in which case LOOK OUT, because there will be speed traps. Of course the speed traps are out in rural areas where it's safe to pull cars over.  Once you're in the outskirts of either city, there's nary a trap to be seen, despite that fact that the top speed for most drivers is 140km/h.  The only people that get pulled over in or around the city are people that are driving like jackasses, with crazy fast speeds and lane weaving. If everyone is driving the same speed and safely, the cops don't bother you.

What does it say that once a month, the cops go out and ticket speeders in name of public safety and education, and then spend the rest of the month doing nothing about it?  If it's such a safety issue, shouldn't you be devoting a lot more time and energy to the other 29 days of the month? Aren't people dying by the hundreds because you're not out there making the world a better place by stopping speeders in their tracks?

They're not out there because they know, just as well as we do, that it's perfectly fine for people to drive 140km/h in good road conditions.  But once in awhile they have to go out and make a very public effort to curb dangerous driving, and issue a big press release at the end saying "We ticketed over 900 this weekend and charged 5 individuals with street racing. Look how good we are at our jobs."  Every. Single. One. of these drivers knows that tomorrow they can drive fast again because they won't see the OPP again until May two four.

This frustrates me to no end because I've been ticketed twice for driving 135km/h, each ticket costing upwards of $300, all because I got caught in a speeding blitz. Equally frustrating is the fact that the extent of my fine is determined by how many km/h I was over the limit. The problem is that the "limit" on the signs is not the real limit and everybody knows it. Drive by the OPP at 120km/h and they won't even blink an eye. That's because 120km/h is the "real" limit. I know it, you know, they know it.

Here's the breakdown of how much you pay, depending on how fast you were going over the speed limit:
1-19 km/h The amount of km over times $2.50 = fine
20-29 km/h The amount of km over times $3.75 = fine
30-49 km/h The amount of km over times $6.00 = fine
If I had my druthers, I'd gladly pay the fine for going 15km/h over the REAL speed limit of 120km/h.  But this sliding scale of bullshit makes me insane, especially on days when I'm driving directly behind an OPP officer who is driving 130km/h but doesn't appear to be responding to a call.

Look I'm not going to argue that fast driving is safer than regular driving. I just want to point out the frustrating hypocrisy that the OPP and the MTO display by pretending to give a shit about speed limits, but only once a month.  If they really gave a shit, there would be hidden speed cameras everywhere down the highway.  There would a no-haggling speed limit with absolutely no way to reduce your fine when you're caught.  This is how it seems to work on the portions of the autobahn that DO have a speed limit. Why can't that work for us?

In Las Vegas, open carry alcohol is tolerated. It's not technically legal, but it's tolerated. I spent a week there and did not see a single act of drunken public debauchery.  Everyone behaved and had fun, all while walking down the street, in and out of bars and casinos, drink in hand. I don't know how long it's been like this but clearly it shows that the city won't burn down in a hellfire of anarchy because of people drinking beer in the streets.

Now imagine that once a month, Vegas cops hid behind corners and jumped out at tourists and wrote them tickets for drinking in public, and then did absolutely nothing for the next 29 days.  Well that's what the OPP is doing to us with this bullshit hypocritical speed limit enforcement.

No comments:

Post a Comment