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Letters to the Editor

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

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Posted: 01/22/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

Last Modified: 01/22/2013 11:12 AM | Updates


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Split-second decision

I completely agree with Barry Prentice's Jan. 19 article Ambushing drivers in speed traps must stop, especially with what happened to me on Jan. 18. While driving down Bishop Grandin Boulevard that evening, as it was snowing and the roads were slippery, I came to River Road.

By glancing at the crosswalk lights, I knew that the traffic light would soon turn red. I had a split second to decide whether I should keep driving and enter on a yellow or possibly a red, or if I should hit the brakes and possibly spin out of control and hit something or someone. I made the decision to keep on driving and, to my surprise, saw the notorious flash of light. As a 22-year-old university student already having trouble paying my tuition, this was quite discouraging.

I find it very disheartening to know that my human intuition to do the right thing for myself and the people around me is judged, and even shut down, by a machine. That's the problem. These traffic-control machines deal in black and white. There is no room for situation or intention.

The city should give us more credit and not put us on the same level as machines. A human being's intuition is a valuable tool, but in my case, it just cost me over $200.




Does Barry Prentice honestly believe that improved signage will change the habits of aggressive drivers? And that people are speeding because they don't know what the posted limit is?

I don't know about you, but I'll err on the side of caution and go slow until I come upon a sign. And while I'm sure we'd all like to think we're safe and responsible drivers being ambushed by police, the fact is, if you're speeding you are breaking the law and deserve the ticket you get. Period.

I would say the fine levied is steep enough to discourage one from speeding again. I don't have stats, but I would challenge Prentice to find me someone who routinely and continually gets ticketed for speeding. Since he will not be able to produce such a person, I would say the lesson has been learned.




Barry Prentice indicates that red-light cameras are inefficient, yet these are the only intersections most drivers approach at the regulated speed and can feel relatively safe that some fool will not come thundering through after the light has changed.

When compared to the average intersection, where speeding up when the yellow light appears and passing through on the red is the norm, intersections with cameras appear to change behaviour.

Second, Prentice says WiseUp Winnipeg showed photo radar to be inefficient, even though the Free Press attended a demonstration that showed these claims to be false.

Last, while I agree that proper signage is necessary, anyone with a lick of common sense would also agree that the only way to curtail the massive number of idiot drivers in Winnipeg is by the use of speed traps. Fear will cause some of them to slow down; the rest will hopefully lose their licences.




When you are caught and fined for speeding, it doesn't matter whether you are an "otherwise safe and responsible driver" or an aggressive driver who regularly terrorizes pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers with high speeds. You are driving dangerously.

As someone who was once caught and fined for speeding, I support speed traps and better signage and whatever else might work to force drivers to obey traffic laws and safely operate the 1,500 to 2,000 kilograms of automobile in their hands.




Eco-Network grant only $5,000

The Jan. 21 editorial City cuts without warning states that Manitoba Eco-Network receives $210,000 annually from the City of Winnipeg. This is an enormous factual error.

The only funding Manitoba Eco-Network receives from the city is $5,000 for our organic lawn-care education program. We are required to reapply for this grant and justify the program's effectiveness every year.

Manitoba Eco-Network operates on funds from a diverse range of sources, including private community foundations, individual donations and service fees. The Eco-Network is held accountable for every dollar spent, through reports to funders and donors, which ensures the cost-effective delivery of important services.


Manitoba Eco-Network



Essential coverage

Thank you very much for restoring the daily printing of the TSX Top 100 stocks.

It conveys a deceptively large amount of information and is an essential part of business coverage.




Fair and balanced

I commend Matt Henderson for his Jan. 19 piece, Gutless (and illogical) wonders, and Doug Firby for his Jan. 12 piece, Indian Act encourages acts of defiance.

They both have offered fair and balanced comments on the Idle No More movement. I can only hope they are being read by those people who are out there commenting without knowing all the facts. These writers encourage us to become informed, to talk to aboriginal people to get their perspective and to accept that long-held racist attitudes do not have a place in this time of urgent need for change.

Thank you for giving me some hope for rational thinking to prevail. I believe that this is a critical time in our nation, and how we respond will determine how we go forward or stay stuck in a deep and dangerous rut.




The reactions of non-aboriginal Canadians to the Idle No More protests have sometimes been very disappointing to me. Our indigenous fellow Canadians are lifting up their heads and telling the government that the delays, litigation and promises of action are not good enough anymore.

Instead of offering them advice they don't need or shameful racist comments, we need to remind ourselves that all the success and wealth and comfort we enjoy flows from the appropriation of their land without adequate compensation.

So next time you are held up by a demonstration, park your car and go grab a sign. March with them awhile and let them know you want them to share in the wealth and success that come with being a Canadian.




From where I sit, it looks as though Jaymie Phillips (Letters, Jan. 18) has engaged in the same behaviour that many of us find so deplorable when it comes to the treatment of First Nations people: tarring all members of a group with the same brush based on the behaviour of a few of its members.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 22, 2013 A7


Updated on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 11:12 AM CST: adds links

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