June 18th, 2018

Driving in Lethbridge is hazardous

By Letter to the Editor on March 14, 2018.

Let’s face it, driving in Lethbridge is dangerous. It’s not just the road conditions, but drivers as well. I know that my driving habits are not the best. I go faster than I should and sometimes make stupid moves, where I get honked at.

The big problem I see in this city is lack of respect for driving rules. Forget about speeding, because everybody is in a hurry, except the people that don’t know the speed limits. Right turns on a red light or stop sign are done on the fly. There is no enforcement, so why bother slowing down or stopping? If you cut someone off, they will slow down, because they don’t want to hit you.

Running lights is another aspect that lacks enforcement. When traffic waits a long time at lights and there is a lineup, when the light changes to orange there are usually three or four cars still going through, especially on Second Avenue “A” North and Stafford Drive as well as westbound Crowsnest trail and Stafford Drive. You are waiting for those cars to go past as you are on green.

In some streets where there is a parking area by a business, they consider the street part of the parking lot and pull out or back out without looking. On the streets with no markings, cars take the centre line and will not move to their side if the street is wide enough. You just get squeezed into the parked cars unless you want an accident.

It’s just not as relaxing driving in this city any more.

Walter Kerber


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11 Responses to “Driving in Lethbridge is hazardous”

  1. Fedup Conservative says:

    It’s not just Lethbridge it’s all over the whole province and it’s just one more reason why Ralph Klein should never have allowed the privatization of the issuing of drivers licences as police officers tell us. People who should never have gotten one have one and as the studies have shown Alberta has the worse drivers in Canada and why the TV show Canada’s Worst Drivers use Alberta drivers, my friends who watch tell me. It’s no secret that Alberta has the highest percentage per capita of injury accidents costing us billions of dollars annually and putting a huge burden on our health care system. Over the years each of two my children have been rear ended three times, sometimes when riding with friends and some cases the offending drivers involved have been in three different accidents within the past year, as police officers have told them.

    When you talk to police officers about why something isn’t being done they all say the same thing. First of all they don’t have nearly enough officers to handle it, they can’t arrest 90% of the drivers who are breaking the laws and our fines aren’t large enough to make people stop doing it.

    I spent two weeks in Chicago a few years ago and borrowed a cousin’s car to drive around, I was amazed at how well the drivers behaved, When I asked him how they did it he said “Make certain you have adequate policing and make the fines so high no one wants one”. Alberta doesn’t have either, as Ed Stelmach pointed out and planned to do something about it by building a police training center in Fort MacLeod, but when the people voted for the Wildrose Party in the next election Alison Redford punished them by eliminating Stelmach’s plan. it’s a well known fact that having the presents of more police officers on the roads keeps drivers in check.

  2. Resolute says:

    Just my observations, mind. Drivers in general ignore all rules that either do not have immediate repercussions or make no sense. Our traffic lights are far too numerous, esp on MMD where I count more than 10 in a row, and are very slow to change in Lethbridge. Most stay red from 0-120 seconds. Some refuse to change at certain times of day. Ergo, after getting stopped at multiple lights in a row with little or no cross traffic, drivers push the yellows…err oranges. The police appear to enforce 2 things right now – speeding and distracted driving. I have witnessed police ignore drivers without lights on at night, unsignalled lane changes, multiple lane changes at a turn, tailgating, blackout head & tail lights, black driver window tints, jacked up trucks with no tire flaps, unmuffled diesel trucks spewing black smoke, driving through occupied crosswalks and more. Some of the violators were police officers. No idea whether enforcement, training or smarter road design would fix it but all would help.
    And Walter, slow down and watch what you are doing. Your confession is unacceptable. Next time that honk will be a crunch and someone will be hurt.

  3. phlushie says:

    Good points, all of the above. In a 3 minute drive up Mayor Magrath Drive I noticed the following:
    1. 3 cars turned right on red lights without stopping.
    2. 14 cars traveling above the speed limit.
    3. 1 car switching lanes in an intersection forcing the car in the lane to brake.
    4. 1 car crossing 4 lanes of traffic 15 metres from the intersection to make a left turn.
    5. 2 cars running red lights ( to late for the orange)
    In 3 minutes, with the current fine rates, the city coffers could have more then $5000 add. This would be a more lucrative revenue stream then the curbside recycling project and would help in accident prevention and the high cost of insurance to the good drivers of Lethbridge.

  4. biff says:

    agreed! maybe just clear the roads! my street remains fully encrusted with deep ruts, and i just scraped bottom yesterday – forced to endure this for over a 10 yard stretch because i was unable to get out of the rut. do the people on my road not pay their taxes, too?
    as for mmd, those lights lack any sophistication. the person/people in charge earn a great living for doing very little. no way should the main flow of traffic be forced to stop intersection after intersection for red lights. get out of your offices and do something to bring lethbridge into the 20 th century, let alone the 21st. between forcing us to drive on roads that become more rutted in the winter than the worst backwash little towns that keep only dirt roads, and traffic lights that are not synchronised and otherwise haphazardly set, it is no wonder drivers speed up and run lights and signs – they are likely frustrated and are trying to make up time lost due to the simple neglect of the dep’t manager(s).

  5. zulu1 says:

    Driving here in Mexico is a totally different experience from the generally inconsiderate drivers in Lethbridge.
    Most Mexicans have a cosiderate attitude to other drivers, even when some are clearly in the wrong.

    Even police cars will clear traffic snarls on an ongoing basis.
    Canadians have general sense of compassion for others, except, it seems when they get behind the wheel.

  6. Fedup Conservative says:

    zulu1 has nailed it. I have driven all over the U.S. and have never seen drivers like ours.Even my American relatives who came up to visit us in Calgary, fifty years ago, said they had never seen worse drivers than ours. I spent two weeks in Hawaii in February, it was our seventh trip there in the past ten years, we have been on every island, and we have never seen a speeder, a person get a ticket, or an accident. After one trip the next day back I saw five accidents in Edmonton.

  7. phlushie says:

    Today I wish I was driving and old junker. The roads are icy, snow is coming down and I am travelling south on MMD in the left hand lane. There is a car pacing me at 25 km/hr in the lane beside me when it suddemly starts pulling into my lane. I honke the horn and create a reaction where the driver overcompensates. If I had an old clunker the best lesson would have been to let the car tag me and then explain to the LPS what they did. Latter, I pulled into a small strip mall. There were only 2 vehicles there and parking space for some 30 vehicles. When I come out of the store there was a car double parked behind me, blocking me in with no one in sight. Some people park where the car stops rolling and don not care about anything else but what they are up to. Consideration does not discribe Lethbridge drivers ans well as selfish does.

    • biff says:

      2 city buses stuck on ave north yesterday. many streets lacking any material to provide some traction. my street so neglected the ruts still force a regular car to scrape bottom in places. not like we do not pay high property tax in this city – just so much wasted on too many niche expenses.
      how ling were you dbl parked on, phlush?

      • phlushie says:

        about 5 minutes that I was in the car,but it was parked there while I was still in the store maybe another 4 or 5 minutes.

        • biff says:

          you know, it is perhaps a symptom of an even bigger issue – our society is growing exponentially with people that are only able to recognise their own needs and concerns. has long been an issue, these types, but just seems to be more pervasive.

  8. Jersey44 says:

    In 35 years of driving it’s never crossed my mind that Lethbridge drivers are worse than anywhere else. They’re all the same. I will agree tho that the 2 times I’ve visited Hawaii I’ve been surprised at the courtesy the drivers there display.

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