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AWRIGHT DEN: Bring back 1058

Corey Worrell

AWRIGHT DEN: Bring back 1058

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Three years ago, I wrote an article entitled One Good Cop, sharing an experience I had after a police officer pulled me over for speeding. The actions of that officer changed my life, aiding me in becoming a more responsible driver. That report influenced me to sell my sports car since the temptation to speed or race was too great and I didn’t want to risk being reported again.

For those of us who frequently travel the Ronald Mapp Highway (Highway 2A), we would normally be on the lookout for Constable 1058 – the traffic police officer who would normally be in a Nissan Frontier pickup. For you who aren’t frequent travellers on that highway, anytime you see random cars flashing their lights at you, it more often than not meant Constable 1058 or a police officer was somewhere along that stretch.

I am trying hard not to laugh, but it was comical watching how many motorists would automatically adhere to the speed limit when approaching Lancaster Plantation since this officer would normally be stationed there with his speed gun waiting for any culprits in breach of the law.

I have observed, both from other motorists’ actions and my own experience, that the presence of a police officer or even the thought that one was around positively influenced drivers’ behaviour. You know it is true and can’t deny it. How many times have we been travelling on the ABC Highway and in the distance we see flashing police lights, and we immediately slow down or check to see if we were within the speed limit?

This is also true when police are driving behind us, next to us or even in front us. Amazingly, some of us think twice about overtaking even though we would still be within the speed limit.

I was travelling on the autobahn in Germany and the car was moving at about 210 kilometres per hour. At one point on the journey, my friend who was driving began to slow down because we were approaching an area with a speed limit of about 120 kilometres per hour and she pointed out to me areas which had speed cameras for anyone who was above the limit.

Last year while returning from Israel, I overnighted in the United Kingdom and in the morning my cousin drove me to the airport via the freeway. He drove at least ten kilometres per hour under the limit and when I inquired why, he told me there were speed cameras on the poles and if he was ticketed one more time, he would lose his licence for a year.

The presence of those speed cameras, which represented “police officers”, were able to keep order on those freeways. I believe a constant or even more frequent presence of traffic police on our streets would indeed help with order. Having done some research, I was shocked to learn that there was one traffic officer who patrols the North and one for the South. Over the past year or more, I have not seen Constable 1058 patrolling Highway 2A and had wondered if he had retired. Earlier this week I saw him driving a police vehicle and my hope was restored.

Dear Commissioner, I would love to see Constable 1058 back in my district and a greater presence of traffic police on the roads, especially in the areas of the Garfield Sobers Roundabout and the one at the bottom of Lower Collymore Rock. I am sick and tired of the reckless driving and total disregard for the law by some ZR drivers.

Additionally, dirt bike riders are becoming a menace on the road and only last week one almost collided with me while performing a stunt. On Sundays the problem escalates.

Dirt bikes belong on dirt tracks and not on the road. Some riders consistently ride through red lights, ride without headlights at night, block traffic while they perform their stunts and startle my sleeping children when they pass my vehicle at high speeds with their excessively loud exhaust pipes. To make matters worse, they wear inadequate helmets, if any at all. In all my travels internationally, I have never once seen a dirt bike on the public road.

Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Email [email protected]