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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Direction or Discretion? Your thoughts...
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:11 pm 
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I just read an interresting article in The Toronto Star relating to highway signage. You can find it here: http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/561204

In my opinion, there are too many signs on our roadways telling us what we can or can't do, when and where. It so happens that in my city there are multiple no left turn signs installed in obscure places that distract drivers as they must look upwards. I wonder if you can use that as a defence if you rear-end someone as you were busy looking for said signage.

What about implementing 24h time on signs as opposed to having to determine wheter we're talking about a.m. or p.m.?

As for the taxi driver going through red lights....good for him. Here, when you get one red light, you get them all. This means driving throught a deserted (literally) downtown, spending an average of 90 seconds stopped at each intersection (5) when there is no cross-traffic. IMO, think of all the wasted fuel and increase in pollution. Not a stand-alone argument, but a thought nonetheless.

Let the debate begin....


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:22 pm 
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I'd rather have more discretion in what to do when driving, but I think better driver education/training would be a necessity with it.

When Montana put in speed limits of "reasonable and prudent" during the daytime on interstates and rural highways, the fatality rate dropped dramatically. When they put limits back in due to a court case (driver challenged the constitutionality of having no numerical limit), fatalities doubled. Drivers were given the discretion during the daytime to pick a reasonable and proper speed for the conditions. That didn't mean that people suddenly turned the roads into the Indy 500. They also kept limits in urban areas.

If the cab driver in Naples started running red lights in Toronto, sooner or later the red-light cameras would catch up with him... ouch. Canadians think that many European countries (Italy, Spain, France) have crazy drivers. Canada has a much higher rate of injuries in traffic accidents than even Italy does! Europe is more about getting from point A to point B safely and efficiently; North America is all bent around the axle about obeying rules. Many of them are necessary but when you take almost all of the judgment and decision-making away from motorists they stop thinking altogether.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:51 pm 
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Radar Identified wrote:
but when you take almost all of the judgment and decision-making away from motorists they stop thinking altogether.


Agreed, and I see it every day. Pedestrians presume it's safe to cross because the light says so, and they proceed without looking. I also note that many people cut/drive in front of us when going lights and sirens that I can almost guarantee would not have done so if they had looked attentively prior to entering the road. Personally, I find this "you are too stupid to think for yourself" attitude here in North America demeaning and belittling.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:53 pm 
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A thing that plays into all these signs is stupid courts and defence people making/playing on words to no end to bamboozle JP's, judges to know end.

(ie... Toronto Star article, with the no parking, no stopping, cab parking and tow area. Someone has been there and with a vehicle got a ticket, argued I'm not parked, I'm stopped, so another sign is now added, someone else got towed, made big enough problem, so they throw in a tow truck removal sign......clearly if someone just saw the NO parking and was there, bite the bullet, pay the ticket and we would not have so many signs.

All the highway signs of businesses etc....all unnecessary. Maybe be like the US, no signs, except the business erects high 100ft signs right at their spot

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Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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