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Reducing auto accidents

Re: Lower speeds for school zones (May 31). Mary Agnes Welch's thought-provoking articles on new strategies to reduce urban automobile and pedestrian fatalities, as well as the proposed bylaw to reduce speed on residential streets in school zones to 30 kilometres per hour, highlights the flawed nature of the automobile industry in its relation to human welfare.

If we're truly serious about saving lives, new technology and common sense are needed to promote safety and adherence to the laws of the road and prevent further human tragedy.

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Studies show that alcohol or drug consumption cause over half of all automobile accidents. Vehicles should be equipped with technology that prevents them from being started by anyone too incapacitated to operate a vehicle.

We might also look at the unnecessary production and proliferation of supersized trucks, which impede the vision of the majority of drivers who drive cars.

And why does the automobile industry build vehicles designed to break the legal highway speed limits?




Dig pipes deeper

Re: Heat wave isn't reaching the frost line (June 2). Coun. Paula Havixbeck asks whether the city is telling developers to dig pipes deep enough to prevent freezing.

How come the city doesn't have a standard minimum depth for all water-bearing pipes? The City of Calgary insists all water- and waste-bearing pipes be buried a minimum of 3.3 metres below ground -- well below nine feet.

City emergency co-ordinator Randy Hull states "With the really cold winter, the frost was pushed down to record levels. We are talking eight to nine feet."

With the current minimum depth 7.5 feet below ground, maybe we should have some new standards set for all present and future installations.

The deplorable condition of our city streets, with depressions at almost every site of a water-pipe crossing, has also caused frost to go deeper every year.




Paying our fair share

I'm curious whether Brian Pallister would be pursuing the government with such determination to protect Manitobans' rights had the PST been cut, as opposed to raised (PST challenge set for TV, web, May 31).

We certainly have a right to not be overtaxed, but we also all bear a responsibility to pay our fair share for the services and infrastructure we expect.

The two-percentage-point GST cut has cost our federal government tens of billions of dollars and had a significant impact on the services we are provided, and yet it has made virtually no difference to the bottom line of the average Canadian family.

The impact of the one-percentage-point increase in our province's PST will be even less.




Justifying horrible actions

What an enlightened attitude to be found in the column Extremists pervert genuine Islam (May 29) by Ahmed Sahi. Sahi pinpoints the major issues facing our world today, using the attacks on Muslims and the Islamic religion as the focal point.

The misinterpretation by extremists of humanistic tenets espoused in most religions, and their forceful, frequently violent way of promulgating that misinterpretation, leads to the sorry state of affairs around the world today.

I'm not familiar with the holy books of other religions, but it's easy to find excerpts and quotes to justify almost any action in the Christian Bible. It seems, as Sahi suggests, that Muhammad's words are being misinterpreted and misused to justify the extremists' horrible actions.




Rumours ruin reputations

Re: John Howard director cleared of sex charges (May 31). This recent case, among many others, begs the question: Why shouldn't the justice system be required to hold the names of both accused and accuser confidential until after a judicial decision?

Too many reputations are ruined but for the whiff of rumour, even after no guilt is ascribed.




Internships have value

Letter-writer John Anderson doesn't see the same value those people filling intern positions offered by large corporations see (Unpaid internships criminal, Letters, May 31).

Those positions offer valuable experience to the successful applicants, while they gain a prestigious reference on their resumés that could land them employment in their chosen field.

Corporations won't start paying employees if they're no longer permitted to hire interns -- those positions will simply be legislated out of existence and replaced by technology rather than a person.




Trudeau upholding the law

Exactly what "foot-in-mouth disease" does Justin Trudeau have (Tough questions for Trudeau, Letters, June 2)?

Abortion is legal in Canada. Trudeau is simply demanding that anyone who wants to run under the Liberal banner be prepared to uphold the law.

Anyone wanting to support a party that believes laws don't apply to them can throw their support wholeheartedly behind the Conservatives.




A troublesome inheritance

Re: The high cost of low taxes (May 30). Crumbling infrastructure is just one of the cost-heavy legacies that is being passed on to younger generations. Soon a portion of seniors' future property taxes can be added to it.

Political parties like older people because we come out to vote, but the pandering is really becoming reprehensible.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 3, 2014 A8


Updated on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 11:57 AM CDT: Adds links

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