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OPINION: Stop impeding traffic

Suppertime traffic crosses the Hillsborough Bridge connecting Stratford and Charlottetown on Tuesday. The bridge was the site of 31 collisions, including one fatality, from 2013 to the end of 2017.
Suppertime traffic crosses the Hillsborough Bridge connecting Stratford and Charlottetown on Tuesday. The bridge was the site of 31 collisions, from 2013 to the end of 2017, with a number caused by motorists cutting in ahead of slow drivers. - Mitch MacDonald

Don’t block vehicles on P.E.I.’s highways. They belong to all of us, not just you

BY MARK MURPHY

GUEST OPINION

In a Letter to the Editor of The Guardian, from Sandra Jones Ireland, OF Charlottetown, June 25, she noted, “Time to prohibit passing on right.” While I support her, and agree it could cause some concern for safety, there is no way that a person who passes on the right cautiously, should be or will ever be charged in Canada or the U.S.

RELATED: LETTER: Time to prohibit passing on right

That is not the issue I want to talk about. If someone passes you on the right, where there are two lanes, in the same direction, I wonder if the driver, who is driving in the wrong lane, nearest the center line, ever gives it some thought that they might be just travelling in the wrong lane?

The general rule, although few signs exist on P.E.I. - keep right except to pass or impeding traffic. In many provinces, police will lay charges if you do not keep to the right. In P.E.I., the roads are not compatible to safe passing and in many areas, even on the main highways, it is very difficult to find a safe place to pass.

Now, add to that an insecure driver or two, who follows too close, and the first driver is travelling at several km. below the posted speed limit. I have seen a line-up of more than 50 cars. Now, if the fourth driver in the line attempts to pass, he must pass the equivalent of two tractor trailers. It can be very dangerous for the person passing and oncoming traffic and for the persons they are passing.

So, to those who choose to drive, especially less than the posted speed limit, please look in your mirror and if there are two or more vehicles behind you, you are not leading the local parade, you are impeding traffic.

Put on your right signal light, pull to the side and let the traffic go by. Be polite, as P.E.I. people are known for. You would not stand in a doorway, talking to someone, while many people tried to enter. So why do you think it is alright to block the highway? You might be on your way to coffee, while others may be rushing to work, a doctor’s appointment or other urgent matters. What about the emergency vehicles that may need to pass?

Please show some consideration for your fellow residents of P.E.I. Don’t block traffic on the highway. It belongs to all of us, not just you.

P.S. - To the small-minded people, who throw bags of fast food garbage out the car window, why not take it home and put it in the garbage bin. We have such a beautiful Island, why not try to keep it that way?

- Mark Murphy of Georgetown is a retired RCMP officer who spent 25 years with Canada’s national police force.

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