Frontier Driving Academy | Frontier In The News
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Frontier In The News

Lead-footed drivers seen in RCMP’s rural sweep
Eye-opening offences flagged

 

By: Mike McIntyre
Thursday, May. 22, 2014 at 8:10 AM

 

hey’re putting the pedal to the metal — and everyone else on the road at risk.

Manitoba RCMP say an alarming number of motorists are living life in the fast lane, judging by the results of a weeklong traffic blitz in the western part of the province.

Police pulled over a total of 126 speeders, including six who were going at least 50 kilometres per hour over the limit.

“Unfortunately, we probably get one or two of those a month. But to see six in a week is abnormal,” RCMP Cpl. Mark Hume told the Free Press from his Dauphin office.

The worst offender was a 26-year-old man from Carnduff, Sask., who was clocked going 182 km/h on Highway 21, south of Griswold, Man., on Sunday afternoon. Even more disturbing was the fact he had a four-year-old child with him.

 

Because of the extreme speed, RCMP charged the man with dangerous driving under the Criminal Code. He has been released on a promise to appear in court.

“At that speed, any small bump would be magnified, any little correction you’d have to make is a big deal,” said Hume. “People just aren’t trained to drive that way.”

Other notable examples from the past week:

  • A 24-year-old man from Regina was caught travelling at 168 km/h on the Trans-Canada Highway in the RM of Whitehead, west of Brandon, last Friday night. He also had an expired driver’s licence and a four-year-old wearing just a seatbelt, but not in a required car seat. He was also charged with dangerous driving, driving without a licence and failing to properly restrain a child under the Highway Traffic Act.
  •  An 18-year-old woman from Melville, Sask., was caught doing 166 km/h on the Trans-Canada in the RM of North Cypress, near Carberry last Thursday evening. She was given a $914.75 ticket.
  •  A 54-year-old man from Fairford was caught doing 126 km/h in a 60 km/h zone in the RM of Alonsa on Friday. He was given a $914.75 ticket and charged with careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act.
  •  A 59-year-old man from the RM of Keys, Sask., was caught doing 164 km/h while passing several vehicles on Highway 16, west of Minnedosa, on Friday. He received a $863.50 ticket.
  •  A 20-year-old man from High River, Alta., was clocked doing 158 km/h on the Trans-Canada in the RM of Sifton, near Oak Lake on Friday. He was given a $809.50 ticket.

In addition to the speeding tickets, RCMP also handed out 19 notices for other infractions. Two motorists were charged with impaired driving, and two more were issued roadside suspensions ranging from 24 hours to 15 days.

 

Joe Buccini, the owner of Frontier Driving Academy in Winnipeg, said these types of high speeds would make it very difficult to control your vehicle. “The traction on your tires would not be what you’d want,” he said.

RCMP said it’s interesting five of the six worst offenders are from Alberta and Saskatchewan, where 110 km/h is the typical highway speed limit.

“Alberta and Saskatchewan’s fines are significantly less than ours. To them, it may be seen as worth the risk,” said Hume.

Buccini said younger drivers are typically the worst offenders when it comes to speed. Yet two of the six highest speeders last week were men in their 50s.

“It’s probably just a mentality they’ve acquired over time, that I have a right to go as fast as I want,” he said. “In their mind, they probably don’t think they’re doing anything wrong.”

Buccini always brings parents into the conversation when training young drivers, telling them of the importance of maintaining speed limits when their children are in the car to avoid setting a bad example.

The stepped-up RCMP enforcement came during the just-completed Canada Road Safety Week. Tragically, four people were killed over the past week on Manitoba roads. RCMP say none of the victims was wearing a seatbelt, alcohol is a factor in at least one crash, and “speeding or driving too fast for the road conditions continues to be a factor in most collisions.”

 

www.mikeoncrime.com

Deadly accident sheds light on teen driving habits

 

By: Matt Preprost and Dani Finch
Posted: 11/13/2012 5:26 PM

 

Driving instructors are calling for changes to Manitoba’s driver education program after an accident killed one teen and sent four others to hospital earlier this month.
Abe Peters and Dane Wilson, who have a combined 50 years of experience training new drivers, say the 50 hours of in-class and in-car training students receive in school with professional instructors may not be enough to prepare them to get behind the wheel.
“I teach a lot of kids who’ve taken driver’s ed, and their parents, or even they, realize they need more (training after the program),” said Peters, who has run River Heights Driving School since 1974.
On Nov. 1, 17-year-old Kelvin High School student Julia Romanow was thrown from an SUV after it careened into a tree on Wellington Crescent near the St. James Bridge.
Four other teens, also Kelvin High School students, were taken to hospital with life-threatening and non-life threatening injuries. Speed was a factor and Romanow was likely not wearing a seatbelt, police have said. The 17-year-old driver has been charged with several counts of dangerous driving.
“It’s not stereotypical, but when you hear of a 17-year-old in an accident, speed and driver inexperience are the first things that come to mind,” said Wilson, owner and instructor of Transcona-based Crossroads Driver Training.
“With the kid being 17, he probably just got his licence.”
High school students are eligible to enrol in the province’s high school driver education program when they are 15-and-a-half years old. Students complete 34 hours of class instruction, along with eight hours of behind the wheel training and another eight hours of in-car observation.
Students must log a minimum of 24 additional hours with a supervising driver to earn their driver’s ed certificate, although the certificate is not required for students to take a road test for their intermediate licence.
Peters and Wilson say more training with professional instructors is often needed.
Wilson would like to see mandatory winter lessons so students can better learn how to manage loss of control situations, from slick conditions to speeding.
“None of the students nowadays get any kind of experience to be able to control the car when it goes into a loss of control situation,” said Wilson, who has 26 years of traffic enforcement with Winnipeg police under his belt.
Young drivers often get into accidents because of speed, or other factors, as they feel the “pressure is off” as soon as they get their licence, Peters added.
“They don’t seem to pay enough attention and don’t realize the dangers and consequences that happen,” Peters said. “Lots of times they get away with things — they speed, they’re texting. They don’t realize (the dangers) until something really bad happens.”
Up to 13,000 students go through Manitoba Public Insurance’s driver’s ed program each year, MPI spokesman Brian Smiley said.
The program is based on the best practices of other jurisdictions and is ever-evolving, Smiley said, noting the program does offer winter sessions.
“The program changes as society changes,” he said.
“Look at texting and driving. Ten years ago, that wasn’t really an issue. Now it is, and it’s certainly discussed at the driver’s ed level.”
There’s no “silver bullet” to stop collisions and fatalities, Smiley added, but a trifecta of education, awareness and law enforcement are helping make city streets safer.
“Why do people speed? We all ask that question because the messaging is certainly out there,” Smiley said.
“We deliver the safety messages the best we can. After that, you hope the drivers and passengers execute what they’ve learned.”
Joe Buccini, who runs Frontier Driving Academy, said licensing requirements have improved since he got his licence 20 years ago.
“You pretty much went from getting the handbook to, if you were good enough, getting your licence two weeks later,” said Buccini, 38, who teaches students both privately and through the driver’s ed program.
About 80% of Buccini’s clients are youth, though he notes age isn’t a factor when it comes to a student’s capacity to learn.
“The theory is great, and there is a lot done to prepare them to drive,” he said.
“At the end of the day, driving is a skill. You hope people will continue practicing. Some people won’t and will only do the bare minimum, and they won’t be the best drivers when they get their licence.”
Tom Kinahan, who lives a few houses down from the crash site, said he often witnesses vehicles speeding around the corner and going right into the bush.
Kinahan won’t let his 10-year-old son play in his front yard, because he feels the speed at which cars travel down the street poses a threat to his son’s safety.
“Cars go by regularly at 70 kilometres. I rarely see a car doing the speed limit,” he said.
In the last few years, the city has plowed out an area near the curve so cars hit a snow bank instead of sliding into the bush when they take the corner too quickly, Kinahan said.
“It shows the city’s aware (there’s an issue),” he said.

 

matt.preprost@canstarnews.com
danielle.finch@canstarnews.com