Educate drivers before fining them
Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 04:15 pm
Why does the town not do more to educate/provide awareness to residents about our bylaws rather than just proceeding to penalize?
I am by no means saying the bylaws are wrong or not needed, but some of them are pretty obscure and if you don’t actually read the hundreds of pages line by line, you’ve most likely broken a bylaw or two without even being aware of that.
In the previous half a dozen years or so, I’ve been the “lucky local” to receive tickets for the following: vehicle parked too close/obstructing a walking path, vehicle parked too far onto curb, extension cord running across sidewalk, and just recently for not following a traffic control device.
I reiterate, I’m not saying these should not be applicable, but the one I received recently for not following a traffic control device was the result of driving my pickup truck and stock trailer down a busy residential road.
Reading into the bylaws after receiving a $233 ticket, it turns out that if your truck and trailer combined are longer than 11 metres in length -- which pretty well will include any unit with a trailer longer then 15 feet -- then you are considered a “heavy vehicle” and must follow all the same rules/routes that semi trucks do. RVs are exempt.
Well, I have lived here 37 years. I have been driving for 21 of them and have driven on many streets in town with my trailer with no prior issues, whether it was to help somebody move, haul livestock, or to drop off my son’s hockey equipment at the arena, as I was doing this day.
Pretty well any other person I talked to in this town who pulls a stock trailer around was also not aware of such a condition.
So I’m not sure if it was just my “lucky” day again or if it was the officer’s “bad” day, but in a town heavily based around agriculture and a town where every residential street has probably seen a trailer at one time or another, I’m wondering why this couldn’t have been a warning or learning moment?
I’m wondering how many other people are aware of this? I’m wondering why there couldn’t be more public awareness around things like this?
Maybe there could be a sign under the ‘No Heavy Trucks’ traffic sign -- the one with the picture of a semi truck and the red crossed-out circle around it -- indicating that could include pickup trucks?
Maybe a ‘Did you know’ section could be created in the weekly newspaper and/or on their social media pages?
Maybe town enforcement staff can make proactive traffic stops to give out some warnings and educate people?
Maybe an info sign could be set up near the auction mart on sale day?
Hopefully even this letter alone will help raise awareness, both for other drivers and for the town.