The scene: Alvin Avenue, north-east from St Clair Avenue and Yonge Street.
The time: lunchtime.
I am looking south towards the deer park branch of the Toronto Public Library. A car park is to my left.
The parking officer has parked her car and hopped out to check a Fed-Ex van.
In real life the parking inspectorís car is closer than it looks here to blocking the street. Cars exiting the car park have to do a sort of slalom to get down to St Clair Avenue.
The Fed-Ex truck doesnít get a ticket. Perhaps it already has one. What do they care? The driver of the truck will not be penalised by the city. Fed-Ex treats parking tickets as a cost-of-business and passes these costs (ďOperating CostsĒ) on to reduce the taxable revenue stream.
Yes, if you ship by fed-Ex, YOU pay the parking ticket. Or UPS. Or any other parcel service (including those cute Canada post vehicles).
Nope. Itís business-as-usual, but we have made a stop and an inspection, so thatís alright then, isnít it?
Not two minutes later, my chirpy little inspector has managed to make a U-turn in the little street and is now exiting North.
The white car can be safely ignored even though it is within x feet of a STOP Sign, and opposite a hazard sign.
Why do car drivers complain about congestion?
Call me distracted if you like. Every time I drive a car I am distracted; by the radio (and nowadays which USB memory key to use as a source of podcasts), by weird scenes, by my passengers conversation.
I have very little knowledge of the law, and most of it founded on the belief absorbed fifty-four years ago, that if you driver carelessly (for want of a better word), the cops could pull you over and deal with you.
Where I grew up ďcarelessĒ included failing to dip your lights from high beam when approaching another car (very narrow highways in the Yilgarn!) all the way up to death.
I drive in Ontario form in the belief that if I get caught doing something which I will later agree is really stupid-while-driving, I can be stopped and given a good talking-to by the cop, possibly the prosecutor, and maybe even the judge.
Why, then, do we need yet-another-law about driving?
And why, for heavenís sakes, associate it with death and injury?
My first estimate is that only one in a THOUSAND of the stupid distracted acts of drivers results in injury or death. Every day you see two drivers, two cars, to cell-phones, two insurance agents at the side of the road. No death. No injury. Just another fender-bender. And another five minutes added to the transit time of everybody on that stretch of highway or roadway.
Whatís wrong with implementing current laws against rotten driving, instead of adding more laws that allow the defense to muddy the waters?