Doug Millroy: A sad commentary on the drivers in this city

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After the traffic lights were taken out at the intersection of Albert and Gore Streets in 2016, 98 collisions occurred over the next year.

Another 15 occurred at the intersection of Andrew and Andrew, a block away, where the lights were also taken out.

That prompted Ward 4 Coun. Lou Turco to call for the return of the lights.

But his Ward 4 counterpart, Rick Niro, notes the increase in accidents but anticipates the number will drop.

I see the increase as a sad commentary on the drivers in this city.

“People are not obeying the stop sign, Sean Sparling, deputy chief of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, was quoted in The Sault Star recently. “They’re going through the stop sign. They’re not stopping for it properly and causing the collisions.”

In the past month police handed out 113 tickets to motorists at the intersection, mostly for failing to yield or failing to stop.

If drivers can see stop signs in others areas, there is no reason they should have any trouble noticing them at this intersection.

If they can’t, they shouldn’t be driving.

I applaud the city’s traffic people for removing traffic lights deemed unnecessary in many areas. The removals have certainly helped the traffic flow.

The only blight on their record is at Wallace Terrace and Goulais Avenue, where council went against staff’s recommendation to remove the lights, opting instead to back Ward Councillors Ross Romano and Joe Krmpotich, whose political instincts saw them seeking to appease the few area residents who wanted them to stay.

The lights there are even less necessary than they would be at Gore and Albert.

IT TOOK THE Canadian Press until the last two paragraphs of a story on the federal government’s proposed gun legislation to get to what I considered the most interesting point – the bill’s failure to address the sale and purchase of assault rifles.

The bill would roll back automatic authorizations to transport weapons such as handguns and assault rifles, now requiring owners to obtain a permit to transport such guns, except when taking them to a shooting range or home from a store.

But that is as far as it goes in respect to the dangerous assault weapons.

The CP story said survivors and victims of the three mass shootings in Quebec complained that the bill contained only the bare minimum to technically to fulfil only some of the Liberal election promises on firearms.

Meaghan Hennegan, who survived a deadly shooting at Montreal’s Dawson College in 2006, said the group was especially disappointed with the government’s failure to address the legal availability of assault rifles.

“The weapon that was used to shoot me and many of my classmates is more easily accessible today. This is totally messed up,” she told the CP reporter.

Indeed it is.

In Florida the age to purchase a gun has been raised to 21. Big deal.

The action that should be front as centre is the banning of the sale and possession of assault weapons, bump stocks and large ammunition clips.

I don’t believe that there ever will be an end to such shootings but at least the damage might be mitigated if only regular rifles, with much smaller clips, are available to the shooter.

I have never seen the need for any citizen to own an assault rifle; they certainly aren’t necessary for hunting.

Yet it never seems to be something that catches the eye of those who make the rules.

Probably the only thing that would change the minds of these people would be to someday find themselves in the same situation Meaghan Hennegan did. Bullets have a tendency to do that.

I WAS FULLY in agreement with the Soo Greyhounds shipping off first-round draft choice Hayden Fowler and a raft of draft choices to the Erie Otters in exchange for high-scoring forward Taylor Raddysh and defenceman Jordan Sambrook.

After all, it looked as if the Hounds had a chance of going deep in the playoffs and the addition of two high-calibre players, both NHL draft choices, might give them a shot of going all the way.

And the Hounds would probably be able to get the draft choices back by trading high-scoring Morgan Frost and goal Matthew Villalta, if neither ends up with the pros, prior to the trade deadline next year.

Fowler, of course, is gone forever. And he is, if his start in Erie is going to be an indication of what is to come, probably going to be a thorn in the side of the Hounds any time the two teams meet.

In 33 games with the Greyhounds, in which he got limited ice times, he scored two goals and added two assists.

In 28 games with Erie, playing a regular shift, he scored 10 goals and added 12 assists.
As he is only 16 now, he obviously has a great future.

As an aside, Alex Gritz, who was traded to Erie by the Hounds last year, scored 13 goals and added 17 assists in 67 games.

 

14 COMMENTS

  1. I know that stop sign is there. I’ve routinely driven that road and intersection for work most of my life(before and after lights). I’ve noticed that for some reason, when the sunlight is just right you really don’t even notice the intersection is actually there until the last moment. As you approach the intersection you’re moving on a slight upgrade north easterly and after the intersection the road levels off at a different angle for a slight south easterly angle. Gore is at the top of the incline. In a sense Gore street(the actual asphalt) is obscured from advanced view, especially in bright sunlight. Since we know the human brain forms habits…..people who don’t seen an intersection in the distance don’t have the “look for a stop sign” reflex. That results in crashes. I know 100% that stop sign is there but for some reason I feel weird at that intersection every time I go through it. The street lights would trigger your brain to recognise an intersection…….so people will stop. Without the lights anyone who is even remotely distracted is at risk or not cluing in. Or maybe I’m just nuts.

  2. The Soo is not the only place with bad drivers…I live in Barrie now, and it’s horrible driving here. Improper lane changes, no signalling, people driving on your ass…this happens everywhere 🙁

  3. Our driving culture in general is not based on technical competence, discipline or etiquette. We don’t require these things after a person has passed their driving test. And the Soo is by no means unique in terms of poor driver behaviour.

  4. There is nothing wrong with the lights indicated in the article. It is a matter of human error and an attitude that one’s driving…and the need to “get there fast”… is more important than safety. I would suggest upping the fines to a point where it might get bad drivers attention. On another note..I would like to see this city switch a lot of lights to flashing after say 9 p.m. until 6 a.m…..like they do in Soo Michigan. It is so silly to sit at a long light at 2 a.m. when there is little to no traffic.

    As to assault rifles…the very name of the gun implies a danger. The only group that needs an assault rifle IMHO…are police agencies and the military.

  5. Maybe something should be done for the intersection of highway 552 and 556. Speed limit is 50 then proceeds to 80. However, there is no passing lane lane before the 80 zone and drivers seem to believe there is. Accidents waiting to happen
    I value my life and my license. Clearly others do not value theirs or others for that matter!

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