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Man thanks police for ticket,
says it saved his life

Published May 19, 2013
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Any time a motorist receives a ticket for speeding or failing to stop or any of the myriad provincial offenses one can be charged with, they invariably have a complaint about the accusation or they just truly believe they didn’t deserve the ticket.

If I had a dollar for every grievance I read or heard from a disgruntled driver about being ticketed, I could field a race team in the Formula 1 Championships (or at least build myself a damn good race engine).

You come to expect everyone to gripe about being ticketed. It sure takes you by surprise when you hear about a motorist being happy they were charged. That happened just recently and in my 40 odd years of driving, this has got to be a first.

The OPP released this statement and I had to read it twice to be sure it said what it did.

Drivers across the province might want to bear this in mind this long weekend in particular, as OPP are enforcing a heightened crackdown on aggressive driving, impaired and distracted driving.

On March 7, 2013, a motorist travelling in Oro-Medonte Township received a Provincial Offences Ticket for failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. The ticket was issued by Provincial Constable Gardiner of the Barrie Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). . . .

A few days after receiving the ticket, the motorist was stopped at the same intersection as a person who was talking on their cellphone failed to stop for his stop sign. This motorist is convinced that if he was not stopped and issued a ticket a few days before that he would have likely rolled through the intersection as he had always done in the past and would have been struck by this distracted driver.

‘As the Regional Commander for the OPP’s Central Region, I recognize that receiving a ticket is not always a positive experience, but in this case, it is apparent that it corrected a driver’s behavior and saved him from a serious or potentially fatal injury,’ says Chief Superintendent Brad Blair.

‘To the motorist who received the traffic ticket, I thank you for sharing your story with the City of Barrie Court Services staff member and I am grateful that your encounter with our officer resulted in you changing the way you approach and deal with signalized intersections. To the Manager of Court Services for the City of Barrie where our Barrie OPP Provincial Offences charges are dealt with, I thank you for taking the time to write a letter complimenting the actions and professionalism of Provincial Constable Gardiner and to the distracted driver whose actions could have taken a life, I hope that you recognize the need to drive and focus your attention where it needs to be – on the road you are travelling on,’ adds Chief Blair.”

Too many motorists take driving for granted and become complacent behind the wheel. Staying focused while driving will help us to not only avoid tickets for simple infractions, but also help us avoid those who are distracted and run red lights, stop signs and commit other dangerous driving offenses.

It is important to treat every intersection as a high danger zone and not simply an inconvenience. Each time we approach an intersection we should never assume the crossing traffic will stop simply because they have a sign or red light. Stop signs and red lights don’t stop cars and trucks. People are required to doing the stopping and too often they are distracted or impaired.

When approaching any intersection, think of that motorist who was happy to be charged for failing to come to a complete stop. Now he comes to a full stop and pays attention and that probably saved his life.

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