Driving in Aylmer: what is wrong with us?
Over the years, one of the top three subjects readers bring up with the Bulletin is poor driving in Aylmer. Virtually everyone has a story of being cut off by another driver, or worse. The lack of good pedestrian cross-walk signals compounds the problem.
Some intersections have a cross-walk sign with no street paint. Some places have street paint and signs twisted to indicate nearby crossing. And some places have a lot of signals and yet even public transit bus drivers zip on through the cross-walk while a pedestrian is mid-way through. This indeed occurred on Wilfrid-Lavigne Boulevard this summer. The transit driver somehow didn’t notice the pedestrian making her way across four lanes of traffic, with other traffic stopped.
Following this incident of a professional driver unable to follow simple driving rules, what can be expected of the general public? Gatineau did set aside some infrastructure money to install lights at dangerous pedestrian crosswalks, as well as a new one on Principale in front of Marché Laflamme. That will be helpful.
But the problem isn’t just city infrastructure. Regularly, drivers stopped at four-way intersections don’t respect the order of arrival. And this especially if there are multiple lanes. It is as if drivers forget how to handle the smallest complexity. The issue of following the rules is at the base of Aylmer’s dangerous driving situation. This is alarming not only for traffic safety, but for the broader question of living in society. Drivers who forget – or disregard – simple rules are also members of the community. Do they have the capacity to help improve the community? Or should society face up to the reality that, for every step forward as a society, there is a collective step back?
Because this problem is nothing new to readers, there must be solutions. An awareness campaign to drivers, perhaps?
Police presence hasn’t worked. Here at the Bulletin, the news team has observed over the years that when complaints are lodged about intersections where drivers let themselves go into poor driving habits, an increase in police presence is only a temporary fix.
Do readers have suggestions? What can be done to help drivers follow the rules?