Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Psst: You Can Speed in Alberta

    What's that you say? You can speed in Alberta? But you say,"You''ll get caught." You might get caught. But if you get a ticket, depending on how busy a road you're on, 200 or 1000 speeders go by while your ticket is being written. That's not very efficient policing. .5%  or .01 %. The Alberta government is so obsessed with not raising taxes that the number of policemen has declined while the population has increased. Very little traffic patrolling is done.

     So you say, "If you get caught you'll have to pay a fine." Never mind. Don't pay it. July first of every year a statistic is released. Last year on July first there was $110 000 000.00 in outstanding traffic fines! Very few people are paying traffic fines. Some how the government is unable or unwilling to collect traffic fines.

    So you say, " If I don't pay my traffic fine I'll lose my license." Not to worry. A large percentage of Albertans drive without a valid driver's license. 

    So you say, "If I don't have a license I won't be allowed to buy car insurance." Not to worry . A large percentage of Albertans drive without insurance.

    So I rest my case. You can speed in Alberta. 

    One of my extremely nice little old granny friends got a speeding ticket when she was less than 500 meters from a seniors picnic she was going to. Shirley was very upset. I told her she didn't have to pay the ticket. But I know that she was one of the few people who pay tickets here.

   A few years ago I met a young Nova Scotian who had come to Alberta to make his fortune in the oil patch. Sergio was a very nice twenty year old. Two weeks after he got here he got a speeding ticket. He didn't know he got a ticket because it was photo radar. The ticket was sent to his Mom in Nova Scotia. Since there were demerit points it put him in the situation where he lost his driver's license. I told him not to drive. I asked him what his mother told him. He said, "Mom told me not to drive." Two days later he accidentally told me he was driving. I'd done all I could. So the next thing I know he's got an impaired charge. He got more that an impaired because he didn't have a license or car insurance. On top of that they tried to play games with the police and he got an obstruction charge. He went to the first court date and it was put over. The second date he missed. The third date I dropped him off but didn't go in with him. He told me it was delayed again. A few weeks after that he came to the house and I knew he was saying good bye. So he left the area without notice. His charges were not settled and I'm sure the justice system would not find him. During a three month period he made $10 000.00 and was always broke.

    So I guess the moral of my story is that the justice system is so understaffed and weak that it can not enforce anything and if you want to be a scofflaw you can get away with almost anything.

    Now would I pay my fine? You bet I would.