Letters to the WebWeaver!

Night Drivers

I have taken on a commitment this fall that has me driving back home one night a week from Miramichi. As I only get back home around 10:00 PM, the drive is now completely in the dark. When I drive after dark in northern New Brunswick, particularly in the spring and in the fall, I am mindful of the potential presence of moose on the road with me. At times, I suspect that I am among the very few drivers who are so aware.

Now no one has ever accused me of being a slow-poke driver. Indeed when I purchased the vehicle that I now drive I was pleased to discover that it has cruise control aboard. I use the device to keep my occasionally heavy foot under control. After dark, that means somewhere around the speed limit (well, truth be told, somewhere just over the speed limit). At that speed, I feel certain that I am going to be able to see a moose in time, should one step out onto the road, and to be able to stop or take evasive action.

At that speed, too, I am one of the slowest drivers on the highway.

In my more recent drives home, I have taken to doing a small, random survey of vehicles whom I pass (very few indeed) and who pass me (considerably more). At the onset, just let me say that I get passed, regularly and often quite quickly, by just about everything that one might expect to find on the highway at night.I am not particularly surprised when an SUV or a large size, four wheel drive pickup passes me; somehow such action, even in the pitch dark, seems to go with the vehicle. I am always surprised, though, when the passer is driving a small car, because I am all too aware that, should such a vehicle hit a moose, the consequences will almost invariably be fatal for the occupants of the car, as well as for the moose. And then there are the big trucks.

Cars and small trucks usually charge up from behind and, because there is usually relatively little traffic, they pass me and are gone.The big trucks present an entirely different situation. All too often, one of them will close behind me with the obvious intention of passing me. However, at the speed at which I am travelling, it takes them forever to do so. If there is any traffic coming from the opposite direction, he cannot get by and so he begins to tailgate. At 100 or more kilometres an hour, that can present its own form of excitement, at least for me. If we get to a passing lane, which, of course, is almost always located on an uphill, he rapidly begins to lose momentum and cannot get by. Once up the hill and onto the flat, or, even worse on a downhill, the game begins again. At such times, I usually end up by signalling a turn-off onto the shoulder to let him by - a risky enough manoeuvre at that speed and in the dark.

Fortunately traffic is relatively light on these roads at night. Still, every one of them has presented its incidents that have left me shaking my head, sometimes over the sheer lack of judgement of drivers of small cars that would stand no chance of any sort of collision with a moose, or any other large object, for that matter. On other occasions, I have been disturbed by the aggressiveness, or the mindlessness, of drivers of bigger machines who seem to have the idea that because they are relatively safe in any potential collision, no one else matters.

In the end, I am surprised that there are not more fatal incidents than, in fact, do occur. it might just be that the moose are getting smarter. Unfortunately I can't say that about many night-time drivers.

Chantal Kaye

HI there, I'm original from Campbellton but now live in Ottawa. I enjoy going to your site to get the latest news and stuff.

Salmon festival is coming up in the next week or so why don't you have any information on your site about it ??

Cheers

Chantal in Ottawa

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In Answer to your question Chantal

We have contacted a few of the Festival committee members and asked to have a copy of the program in time for us to type it all out and place it on the site but we are still awaiting.. sorry..

Irene

 

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