Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/7/2014 (715 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Many readers had something to say about a Mike McIntyre column on the dangers of using social media to alert impaired drivers to police checkstops, although the conversation veered into vehicle-inspection checkstops.
If you are obeying the law and driving within the speed limit and without being under the influence, then the chances of you injuring or killing me and my loved ones drops significantly.
Don't drink/smoke and drive, and please obey the speed limit, the traffic laws are there to protect us all.
Police are there to help enforce these laws. Next time a child dies because of a drunk driver, there will be outrage there weren't more checkstops. You can't have it both ways.
I support the police in their efforts to stop dangerous driving habits. I do not drink and drive, and I do not get into a car with a driver who is impaired. It is time we all stepped up and put an end to the needless deaths and destruction these habits cause.
Personally, I think while it's not illegal to alert to a checkstop location, it is immoral and unethical.
I have no trouble with getting stopped. Nice to have an opportunity to thank them for doing their jobs.
How about a flood of false-tweeted locations so the drunks get funneled to the real checkstops? Get them off the road!
-- Slim G
The reality is checkstops exist for the politics, the photo op and the perception police are fighting DUI. Even without the tweets, an experienced drunk driver can weave his way home relatively safe from the perils of a checkstop. Checkstops exist based on the logic everyone travelling through them might be drunk. And certainly, they catch their fair share of violators. But checkstops are like a trapper's snare: The trapper has no idea how many mink wandered through the forest nearby without walking through the snare. He only knows of the one mink that did. Checkstops are the same way. The wise trapper puts out multiple snares in a given area, yet police only put out one. Put police into cruisers, and have them fan out. The best idea is to prevent violators from violating in the first place. An ounce of prevention...
-- Family Guy
The only way to beat this info from being used is to devise ways to make it impossible to tell the truth from false data. A little confusion amongst the masses goes a long way. Drinking and driving is not an acceptable practice, even though many drunks have gotten behind the wheel and killed innocent people in Manitoba over the years without any real, long-term consequences to themselves.
Personally, I have no problem with tweeting the location of a vehicle-inspection checkstop since they are all about revenue and giving out tickets for being low on washer fluid and other moronic things.
There is all kinds of idiocy in the Highway Traffic Act, and these type of checkstops exploit those idiocies to bring in money. If it really was about safety, they'd return to the old system of randomly calling vehicles in for inspection and giving a reasonable amount of time to have the issues fixed.
But it's not about safety... not at all.