Medicine Hat Media

Posts Tagged ‘Police’

PART 3 of my 2 part series (WATT) What Are They Thinking ?

The other day I was driving near the hospital when I came up on the parking Monitor van.  It was double parked, completely blocking the lane in the direction I was going.  There was a person writing a parking ticket near  the van. I can only assume that the issuance of a parking infraction was the reason for blocking the road and forcing me into the oncoming lane to pass the Parking Monitor van.

Is it just me, or should the people handing out $50.00 parking tickets…  park properly themselves?

As described in a recent Medicine Hat News article, distracted drivers in Alberta could now be fined under a new law introduced by the Alberta Government on April 21, 2010, if their driving is deemed to be suffering from distraction.

The fine, which is set at $172, applies to anyone who is talking on a handheld cellphone (a headset may be passable), texting, reading, writing, grooming, etc. The aim is to lower vehicle collision rates and force people to drive safer. Many people will jump at the chance to agree that talking and driving is not safe. But what about talking to passengers, especially with all the hand gestures usually involved in talking to someone face to face? I have even seen people driving wearing Alain Mikli Shutter Shades, and if there is one thing Kanye West has taught me, it is that you do not look cool wearing Shutter Shades, plus your vision is probably reduced by like 25%. Who needs to see more than 25% of the road anyway?

Previously the only fine the Police could doll out was a hefty $402 for “Driving without due care and attention” plus 6 demerit points to your driving record. With a law being passed to enforce driving without distractions, we can either expect the average driver to be safer, or for people to hide their phones between their legs while texting. Now all we have to worry about are those police officers who often use their laptops while driving. Wait a minute! Are laptops not an even bigger distraction than cellphones and texting? Not to mention the fact that those police radios are kind of like cellphones too. Maybe they should pull over or come to a complete stop while using them, or maybe police officers are infallible, and unlike the rest of us they can safely do two things at once.

This morning when I left the house to drive to work, I noticed a Peace Officer SUV stopped in the middle of the street. As I walked to my car that was parked along the island of the cul-de-sac, they backed up about 3 houses worth then took off. This in itself did not seem overly weird to me, so I continued on to work.

Immediately when I pulled onto Southview Drive from the street I live off of, near the Southview Community School, I saw a police car driving down the street, and further down Southview towards Dunmore Road, I saw another police SUV (not the same Peace Officer) going alleyways. As I came to the Southview/Dunmore intersection, I saw one more police car waiting for the lights to continue on and join the fray.

Four police officers on their own might seem coincidental, but when they are driving up and down alleys in a seemingly coordinated manner, it seems like there must have been something going on.

*Updated June 2nd, 2009*

In a seemingly recent string of local crime and tragedy, a man has been found murdered and another seriously injured last night at 11PM. The police were called to the scene, 515E Washington Avenue SE, where they found the adult male dead inside the residence and the injured male outside on the sidewalk. I’m not posting this as an effort to post what has already be written, but to comment on it and the nature of the killing. It has since been released that the man killed was Darcy Baumbach, 47 by Michael Steinkey,  37 who was charged with second degree murder and is scheduled for court on June 4th. The other injured man’s name is not being released at this time.

Correct me If I am wrong, but this is the first homicide in Medicine Hat, since March, 2007 when James Driscoll was suspected to be murdered; however, it was never concluded that indeed he was, but is still be considered “suspicious”. And then, since the April, 2006 Richardson family murders. Seemingly, as stated, there seems to be a recent string of crime and tragedy in the or around the Hat as of late. House fire and death, theft from a previous house fire, recent Brooks murder, Brooks taser death, Bow Island car crash claiming five lives, accidental death from a fall, Fritzke back in custody after having access to internet-enabled phone (or the whole Fritzke thing in general), tons of drug growing and related charges/arrests in Redcliff and in Medicine Hat. That’s just in the last couple months. Maybe it’s just because I am becoming more aware of the news and local happenings that I didn’t notice before, but I heard other comments that this city (in jest) is becoming “Gotham City”.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers or 403-529-8481.

Medicine Hat Police Service – James Driscoll media release page

Medicine Hat News Articles
Murder called a senseless act
Murder charge laid
Michael Steinkey charged with murder
First murder of the year

So, there I was, merging onto the #1 from the overpass by The Medicine Hat College. There was a police officer next to me and as I began to merge he was not slowing down or speeding up to let me go in front or behind him. So I tapped the gas to get in front just as he begins to go into the right lane to go onto 13th. He pulls back and turns his lights on, drag. I was not speeding by enough to warrant a ticket, so what else could it be? He says “You did not signal”, which is like impossible (like as in, one in a billion amount of times I will forget it, since I am a very signal, mirror, shoulder checking type of person – usually). Although in thinking back, I did not see him signaling, but whatever. He checked my signal light, and it was working.

So in the way that funny stories go, he says “You have a nice car”. Oddly enough, I have been pulled over so rarely that it is years in between, and despite having probably the most recognizable car in Alberta/Saskatchewan (probably), it has never been the reason I have been pulled over in the past. He checks my insurance and it turns out that it is out of date. Double drag. But he calls it in and of course it is valid. He seems to be a good guy about it and polite as well, and not a jerk, something most people would contrarily attest to, and not without warrant, because usually cops seem all too happy to write out some tickets as opposed to realizing people are fallibly human. This one time I was going like 7kph over the limit at 11pm on Highway #3, got pulled over, cop asks why I was speeding, I said “I do not have cruise control and sometimes my foot eases on and off the gas ever so slightly”. Apparently that is not a good reason, and 7kph over on the loneliest of roads is a hazard to everyone around me.

He comes back to my car, we talk a bit, and in saying I am from Saskatchewan and only recently changed my plates over to Alberta plates. Insurance is way different there, which he agreed with and even said he liked Saskatchewan’s system better (diss to expensive Alberta insurance), he did not give me a ticket for either offense.

Long story short, most of the time police officers seem to hand out tickets without reason other than “because”, but sometimes it is not entirely a bad experience.



p include (TEMPLATEPATH . '/sidebar.php'); ?>