OPP’s Road Watch Program is Coming to a Town Near You…

Or rather a Township.

Word has it that the Township of Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield’s Council has approved the rollout of the OPP Road Watch program, slated to start at the end of June.

What is it? Well, it’s a program where you and I and the crochety mean guy peering from behind his threadbare curtain can file a notice with the police, if we observe aggressive or dangerous driving.

Now, there has been many a day when I wished for this service to be available. Like when the late teens testosterone infused male in his “Big Wheels” monster truck decides to spin his tires, squealing down the main drag of Lakefield. Or when the slightly older gent, both hands white knuckling the steering wheel (as this is the only part of him that I can see, I assume it was a gent. My apologies if I’m wrong about that) rolls from one edge of the lane to the other, going a mighty 34KMs/hour in a 60KM/hour zone. While his driving is not aggressive per se, I can honestly say that I have seen red being stuck behind one of these characters and it is only by the grace of having a preschooler in the back seat that I don’t end up screaming at him while flipping him off and bouncing my head on the ceiling of my car. (Can you tell that I am an equal opportunity ageist?)

But there is something off-putting about the fact that a police officer can stop you, look up your record, find these ‘citizen’ reports and zero tolerance your previously unblemished record into a full priced aggressive driving ticket, with all the accompanying points removal and insurance back slap that come with it.

I am not really comfortable with the idea of individuals who have not been hired or trained by anyone, contributing to my driving fate anonymously. The ‘reporters’ are known to the OPP, but I am not allowed to know who my accuser is. That just smacks of a breach of my civil liberties to me, and before you say it, I know that driving is a privilege. But it’s one that we pay a lot of taxes to have controlled by certain people with badges and … well, training.

A quick search on the Internet came up with no stats on whether this program really makes a difference to the area, but I’m going to keep and post again! Stay tuned!

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