A local resident came into our office last week quite upset about the police road check near the former Fields store on Main Street.
The fellow was angry, basically saying the cops had better things to do with our tax dollars. He didn’t say if he was nabbed for not wearing a seatbelt or for talking on a cell phone while driving, but we suspect he was nailed for something. Or maybe he just doesn’t like the cops.
So I went down there to see what all of the fuss was about. There were three constables waiting on the side of the road, flagging down the odd vehicle for seatbelt violations and distracted driving offences. They didn’t have bionic vision, but relied on a spotter near the Firehall Bistro, a conspicuous looking guy taking notes and using a radio to communicate the violations he witnessed. The constables then stepped out onto the roadway and flagged the violators down, some of whom quickly tried to correct their infractions, in vain, mind you.
The officers from South Okanagan Traffic Services were very professional and courteous when dealing with motorists. They used humour to lighten the situation, and put drivers at ease, explaining the infractions and why they were hazardous.
Surprisingly, one elderly motorist that Cst. A.J. Rodrigues pulled over came back to give her a hand warmer to keep her fingers warm on that chilly day.
Rodrigues also pulled over a logging truck driver who was talking on his cell phone while motoring through Oliver. The fine was $167. The fellow admitted he should have known better.
Constable Eric Ernzer said they are still seeing quite a few motorists driving while distracted (gabbing on their cell phones). He noted it is quite concerning to see commercial truck drivers engaged in this illegal behaviour, especially those hauling a huge load of logs . . . because if those logs let go, they’re going to hit somebody.
We don’t begrudge what these officers do for a living, especially when it involves looking out for our safety. If that’s their job description, aren’t we lucky?
Lucky was the word that a Nanaimo officer used last week after he prevented a distraught female from committing suicide in her backyard. She had a stepladder and electrical cord in hand, ready to do the deed. The constable knocked a fence over and raced towards the woman with only seconds to spare. “It was great to be able to make a difference tonight. We got lucky,” he said.
Yes, aren’t we lucky?